By Jon Levy - Staff Writer
July 20, 2010
With two events being held simultaneously on the PGA TOUR and another on Nationwide Tour soil last week, former Gateway Pro Tour players now playing the big circuits had their pick of where they could make an impact at the top of the leaderboard.
Well, with touted Alum, Sean O’Hair, coming in with a solid T7 performance at the Old Course in the 150th Open Championship (and former player, Jeff Overton, barely missing a top-10, with his T11 effort), six former Gateway Pro Tour players notching top-10s at the Reno-Tahoe Open, and Alum, Tommy Gainey, winning the Chiquita Classic on the Nationwide Tour, last week was an utter home run for Gateway Pro Tour graduates.
Starting with O’Hair’s gutsy — or should we say, gusty — tied-for-low-American performance on the wind swept links of St. Andrews, the former Desert Series member is quietly putting together a impressive June-July combo of T12/T12/T11/T7 in some pretty big tournaments; that is, if you consider the Memorial, U.S. Open, AT&T National and British Open high profile events. Add in another T12 in late May at the HP Byron Nelson and a T4 at the season-opening SBS Championship, and O’Hair’s $1.45 million in ’10 earnings and current 36th place standing in the FedEx Cup say he’s more than primed to continue a great year.
Can anyone say Ryder Cup? O’Hair currently stands at 19th on the points list, but the 2009 President’s Cup team member is definitely heading on the right track to add his name on this year’s Ryder Cup roster as well.
Now on to that little nugget of six former Gateway Tour players tearing it up at the Reno-Tahoe Open: The opposite-field event to the Open Championship impressively fielded Alumni John Merrick (T3), Kevin Stadler (T5), Martin Flores (T10), Paul Stankowski (T10), Bill Lunde (T10) and Robert Garrigus (T10) into the top 10. Granted, the high-country tournament just on the other side of Reno may have been overshadowed by that old school major being contested across the pond, but the solid play from the large contingent of Gateway Pro Alumni had our attention last week, nevertheless.
As did the final Alumni congratulatory note we’re excited to dish out to one of our longtime friends: Tommy Gainey winning his second Nationwide Tour event of the season, and second in four starts. The colorful former Gateway Pro Tour member — more affectionately and well-known as “ Tommy Two Gloves” — is not only a two-time winner on the Nationwide Tour this year now by winning last week’s Chiquita Classic after his Melwood Prince George’s County Open in June, but because of another runner-up finish and solo third earlier in the year, not to mention a few other solid made cuts, Gainey has accrued over $300,000 in earnings, which makes the man who wears two golf gloves number one on the money list. Looks like Tommy is headed back for another shot at the PGA TOUR next year, and this time with some serious credentials behind him.
So, congratulations, Tommy! And congratulations to all of our latest Alumni proudly chronicled in this week’s Alumni Update. *