WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS - It was the Fourth of July.
And on the first competitive day of the Greenbrier Classic, there couldn't have been a better, more compelling All-American story than Tommy "Two Gloves" Gainey. He's a Yankee Doodle Dandy from South Carolina who provided some fireworks, shooting a 62, good for a tie at the top.
Never heard of him?
If you're a serious golf fan, you might have seen him on the Golf Channel's "Big Break." He won "Big Break VII."
If you're not a serious fan, put on your reading glasses. Because the guy is worth getting to know.
There's his nickname. There's his unorthodox swing. And there's his background. He was working in a water heater factory before finding golf success.
"I grew up poor," Gainey said. "And I'm playing on the PGA Tour. I'm a PGA Tour winner. It doesn't get any better than that."
Gainey is a 38-year-old who recorded his first PGA Tour victory last year at The McGladrey Classic at Sea Island, Ga. Since then, though, it's been quiet for Gainey. Very. As in cue the sound of crickets. During one stretch this season, Gainey missed nine of 11 cuts.
He entered the Classic No. 125 in money winnings and No. 128 in FedExCup standings.
Time for a family powwow.
"My family, my support system around me, noticed I've forced the issue," Gainey said. "Ever since last year, I felt I should be playing more consistent, better, contending more. ... I was putting so much pressure on myself. They noticed it and talked with me.
"We sat down and ironed it out and now I'm just trying to have fun. That's what this game is to me. It's a lot of fun. I really don't want to go back into a factory, even back to [sponsor] A.O. Smith. I love what I'm doing right now."
All about Gainey is unconventional, especially his nickname, earned because he wears two golf gloves when putting.
"I got that from my father," Gainey said. "My father played golf and introduced me to the game. When he played, he wore two gloves. Does now. I'd take his old gloves and play with them.
"When I'd play baseball, I'd wear two gloves batting. I took it from there, took it from him, and voila!"