Tommy “Two Gloves” Gainey of Camden and Johnson Wagner each shot an 8-under 62 on Thursday to share a two-stroke lead after the first round of the Greenbrier Classic.
Webb Simpson and Jin Park were two back after 64s. Daniel Summerhays, Tag Ridings, Steven Bowditch and 50-year-old Neal Lancaster were another shot back.
Players were able to lift, clean and place their balls Thursday after rain fell prior to the start of play.
Gainey and Wagner had bogey-free rounds in the morning. Wagner was 8 under after 12 holes but finished with six straight pars. Both could use a good week — Gainey is 125th in season tour winnings, while Wagner ranks 148th.
Gainey’s first PGA Tour victory came last fall at the McGladrey Classic, but like Wagner he has missed more cuts than he’s made this year.
Nicknamed “Two Gloves” for wearing gloves on both hands, Gainey had a serious talk with his wife, two other family members and his agent in the past month to try to figure out how to turn around his bad fortunes. Gainey said he had stopped having fun on the course.
“I had gotten away from that and I’m trying to get back into that now,” he said. “I felt like I knew what was going on. I was putting too much pressure on myself.”
Not Thursday, when he missed one fairway with a new driver in his bag.
“Hitting out of the rough is no fun,” Gainey said. “Trust me, I’ve been doing it for the past three years.”
Wagner admitted he had thoughts of shooting 59. Gainey knows what it’s like to flirt with the magic number, which only five players have attained in official PGA Tour events. He shot 60 in the McGladrey Classic’s final round.
“I believe you can get to at least 20 (under) this week,” Gainey said. “It depends on how much rain we get and how much softer this course gets.”
Hansen takes early French lead
At Saint-Quentin-En-Yvelines, France, Anders Hansen of Denmark shot a 5-under 66 to lead by a stroke after the first round of the French Open. Hansen made seven birdies and two bogeys on the 2018 Ryder Cup course.