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Golf Tidbits: Gainey can learn from Weekley's career

11:26 AM, Oct 25, 2012   |    comments
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Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - There are two distinct characters who have won on the PGA Tour, and one can learn something from the other.

Boo Weekley won in 2007 and 2008 on the PGA Tour and became a folk hero when he played on the '08 U.S. Ryder Cup team. Who could forget this moment at that Ryder Cup? (http://tinyurl.com/c8yq59o)

Weekley is a character alright, and another character broke through for his first PGA Tour win last weekend.

Tommy Gainey, who was on Golf Channel's Big Break, earned his first PGA Tour victory last weekend as he fired a final-round 60 to come from behind and win by one at The McGladery Classic.

Weekley, a Floridian, and Gainey, who hails from South Carolina, both went to small colleges and had long roads to the PGA Tour.

Weekley was driven a little harder as one of his high school teammates, Heath Slocum, is a fellow tour member and the small professional tour Weekley started on was co-founded by Slocum's father.

Gainey needed a reality show to help him break through and get a spot in a Web.com Tour event.

Each has his own unique characteristic. Gainey wear two gloves, hence his nickname, and Weekley used to wear sneakers and rain pants due to a cotton allergy.

Of course, both have a good southern drawl, and obviously a serious golf game.

Gainey earned his PGA Tour card for 2008 via Q School, but failed to keep his card. In '09, he split time between the PGA Tour and then Nationwide Tour and in 2010, he was full-time on the Nationwide Tour.

He earned enough money in 2010 to regain his PGA Tour card for 2011 and racked up seven top-10 finishes to secure his privileges for 2012.

Thanks to his win at the McGladrey Classic, Gainey now has his tour card for two seasons and is on the cusp of finishing in the top 50 on the money list, which would help him get into more tournaments next season.

Gainey can learn from Weekley's experience on tour. After Weekley's last win at the 2008 Heritage, he shared fourth place four tournaments later. Earlier this year, he tied for third at the Puerto Rico Open. That was his best finish since that tie for fourth four years ago.

It's tough to say Weekley got caught up in the glory of winning on the PGA Tour and being a part of a winning Ryder Cup team, but his results in recent years have been on the decline.

Gainey had an equally tough road to becoming a PGA Tour winner. He should look to Weekley as an example of how fast things can turn south if you don't keep the same work ethic and stay healthy.

Though just two years his elder, Weekley's career arc is a good one for Gainey to think about. Gainey reached his dream last weekend of becoming a PGA Tour winner, now he has to work even harder if he wants to get his second victory.

FINAL ROUND ODDITIES

There are some strange things going on in the final round of PGA Tour events this season. The first odd number contributes to second stunning number.

Tommy Gainey became the fourth player this season to erase a 7-stroke deficit in the final round.

Kyle Stanley (eight shots) and Brandt Snedeker (seven strokes) rallied at the Phoenix Open and Farmers Insurance Open, respectively, to win earlier in the year.

John Huh answered plenty of questions when he came from seven back to win the Mayakoba Classic.

The flip side of those rallies is the 54-hole leaders. Would you believe that just 15 of 43 54-hole leaders or co-leaders have gone on to victory?

Fewer than 1-in-3 54-hole leaders have won this season. No tournament was spared whether it be an opposite event -- Huh's win at Mayakoba -- or a major championship.

The first three majors this year all saw come-from-behind winners, as did the two stroke-play World Golf Championship events.

Normally, being the 54-hole leader or co-leader is the place to be. That hasn't been the case very often in 2012.

MINI-TIDBITS

* Paul Casey, once ranked in the top 5 in the world, has tumbled to 132nd in the rankings. Last week in Perth, he collected his first top-5 finish of the season. It was only the fifth time in 19 worldwide starts this year, that he earned a paycheck.

* Happy trails to long-time caddie Fanny Sunesson, who started on the European Tour in 1986. She was on Nick Faldo's bag when he won four majors in a 9-year span. Sunesson went on to work with the likes of Sergio Garcia, Fred Funk and most recently, Henrik Stenson.

* Sticking with the caddies, condolences to the family of PGA Tour looper Scott Steele, who passed away last weekend days after suffering a heart attack. Steele was on the bag for Larry Mize in 1987 when Mize won the Masters.

The Sports Network