David Mathis felt like a winner, even though he finished six shots behind and tied for 10th. He moved up to No. 116 on the money list, assuring him a PGA Tour card for next year. The final official event of the season is in three weeks at Disney. Boo Weekley shot 69 and tied for 27th to stay at No. 121, though he should be safe now.
Love and Furyk were tied for the lead entering the round, two shot ahead of anyone else, both realizing that this was far from a duel at Sea Island, especially considering that Ben Crane came from five shots back to win last year.
Both opened with four straight pars and suddenly found themselves two shots behind.
Gainey went out in 31, despite missing a 6-foot birdie putt on the second hole and failing to make birdie on the reachable par-5 seventh. Starting with his 10-foot birdie putt on the 11th hole, he put together seven straight 3s on his scorecard. His 20-foot birdie putt on the 14th tied him for the lead. He holed out a bunker shot from about 40 feet on the par-5 15th to take a two-shot lead, and then holed a 20-footer on the 16th to bring golf's magic number into view.
Gainey hit wedge into about 20 feet on the 18th hole, leaving him a birdie putt for a shot at becoming the sixth PGA Tour player with a 59. He ran off to a portable bathroom before the big putt and gave it a nice roll. The pace was just a big off and it turned weakly away to the right.
It was the first 60 on the PGA Tour since Patrick Cantlay last year at the Travelers Championship, and it was the lowest closing round by a winner since Stuart Appleby shot 59 in The Greenbrier Classic in 2010.
Even more remarkable is the number of comebacks this year. Kyle Stanley rallied from eight shots behind to win in Phoenix. Gainey joined Brandt Snedeker (Torrey Pines) and John Huh (Mexico) as players who came from seven shots behind on the final day.
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