Monday, February 07, 2011

Hoping Tommy 'Two Gloves' Gets Another Chance

   Tommy 'Two Gloves' Gainey already knew how cruel golf can be.

    You don't toil all those years on mini-tours, scratching out a living while driving golf's backroads without knowing that the game can have all the charm of a piranha at feeding time.

   But just in case Two Gloves needed a reminder, he got it today.

   Gainey was a stroke out of the lead in the final round of the Waste Management Open in Phoenix standing on the tee of the driveable par-4 17th hole at TPC Scottsdale. That's when golf gave him a pie in the face -- again.

   Two Gloves took that homemade slash of his -- it looks like a man who stepped into a swarm of bees -- and watched his tee shot ricochet of a red stake beside the green and roll into the water. That part wasn't so bad. Gainey had made the gamble of trying to drive the green, knowing he needed at least one more birdie to have a chance to win.

   Then it got worse. He chunked his third shot and watched it roll down the greenside bank and into the same water hazard, taking six figures with it into the little pond. Gainey, whose mind had to be filled with flying monkeys about that time, eventually made a triple-bogey seven.

    The math goes like this: Two closing pars would have gotten Gainey a solo third and $414,800. Instead, he spent $250,100 with his triple bogey and, while $164,700 isn't a bad week's work, it probably didn't feel very satisfying to Gainey, who's trying to make it on the PGA Tour in his second chance.

    Gainey is perfect for the tour because he's not like everyone else. He's homemade, down to earth and as colorful as a box of Crayolas. You can see him grinding, slapping shots with that snake-killing swing of his and treating every shot as if the fate of the world hangs on it.

   He cares, he tries and he doesn't often find himself in the position he found himself with two holes remaining in the Waste Management Open. Maybe it will work out differently for him the next time.

    I'm hoping there is a next time for him.