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November 6, 2013

Tom Gainey


THE MODERATOR:  We'd like to welcome Tommy Gainey, our defending champion at the McGladrey Classic here into the interview room.  Tommy, if we can just get some comments on, first of all, you saw the golf course again this morning.  Comments about the conditions of the course and also your plans for this week.
TOMMY GAINEY:  Well, you know, I tell you, the conditions, the golf course is in excellent shape.  I mean perfect.  Fairways, a little soft here and there, but you know, it has rained a lot in the last three or four weeks, so that has a lot to do with it, but with the wind blowing 40 miles an hour the last couple of days, I think by tomorrow the fairways should be dried out pretty good.
I'm just hoping that the wind doesn't blow like it did today the rest of this week.  If so, it's going to be a little different tournament than it was last week.
THE MODERATOR:  Talk about the state of your game coming into this week.
TOMMY GAINEY:  You know, I'm ending pretty good.  Hadn't made many putts so far.  It's all about making putts.  I mean if you make putts, you're going to be in the mix.  If you don't make putts, then either you're going to miss cuts by one shot or you're going to finish around 40th place every week.  So I'm looking for a hot putter the rest of this week.
THE MODERATOR:  All right.

Q.  Tommy, the wind's supposed to die down a little bit, but if it's blowing with any kind of force out there, there won't be a whole lot of 60s.

Q.  Will there?
TOMMY GAINEY:  No.  No, there won't be any 60s out there.  You might see a couple guys get hot and shoot maybe 4‑under, but I don't see anything over that, not if the wind blows like it did today.  I mean it was a solid 15 to 25 all day, and maybe a couple times it got up to 30.  You just hope that you're not on a par‑3 that's 220 when the wind's in your face, because that's 250.

Q.  I mean would you take 13‑under right now?
TOMMY GAINEY:  If the wind's going to blow 15 to 25, I'd take 10‑under and just party and hang out with all the McGladrey people.

Q.  And one more thing, the stretch 2, 3, 4, when the wind's blowing, does that make those the most difficult holes on the golf course?
TOMMY GAINEY:  I think that's maybe the hardest stretch of the golf course when you get the wind.  But the wind has to be blowing in the right direction to make those holes tough.

Q.  Tommy, memories of last year's final round that you put to go ahead of everyone else?
TOMMY GAINEY:  I don't know what to say, man.  I just‑‑ it was just a special round.  I mean rounds like that, they don't happen every day, or maybe like once in every five years you see a player shoot a round like that, especially being seven shots out of the lead.  I mean you're just thinking about trying to improve your position, not trying to win the golf tournament.
But I mean that's a round that it's hard to shoot.  I mean you're not thinking.  You're not thinking about anything but just hitting golf shots, trying to make birdies, and it just worked out for me, and I'm just glad it did.

Q.  You say you don't think when you're out there in the supposed zone.  What do you remember, if anything, from that day?
TOMMY GAINEY:  Well, I know it's hard to remember, but I caught a lot of flack for, you know, you're putting for 59 on the last hole, and like I told you last year, I didn't remember.  I mean I didn't know I was putting for 59.  I was just trying to make birdie on the last hole.  And whatever it was it was.
But you know, I two‑putted for par and it worked out for me.  So very glad of that.  But as of right now there's no 60s out there.

Q.  Tommy, a guy like you, Ted Potter, Boo Weekley, Bubba Watson to a certain extent, what's ‑‑ the lesson there is that you don't have to have a country club background to be effective out here.  What kind of inspiration do you think you guys can provide to kids who are public course golfers, not necessarily a member of a country club or family is; can't go out there and play every AJGA tournament there is?  It is possible, just a little bit harder maybe?
TOMMY GAINEY:  Absolutely, because you have to work a little bit to make the money instead of having the money with the background, or know a lot of people with money to help you out.  And that's something‑‑ you know, I've had some friends help me out with some money here and there to help me get where I'm at, which I'm so grateful, but it's a different‑‑ it's a lot of difference when you have the money and you don't have to worry about it.
I call it security.  When you've got security, you don't worry about anything.  You just go out and play, and if you play good, that's good.  If you play bad, then that's fine.  You just go get 'em next week.  But when you're spending your own dime makes it a little different.  It's more pressure that you put on yourself to play well.

Q.  Was there ever a time when you did not think that you were going to get to the PGA TOUR and be a PGA TOUR winner?
TOMMY GAINEY:  Absolutely.

Q.  How close did you ever come to giving up?
TOMMY GAINEY:  I didn't come close to giving up the game, but I got frustrated with it quite a bit.  Like I just feel like, well, why can't I get over the hump.  I'm just as good as these guys.  I'm making seven, eight birdies a round.  Why am I not getting through.  Making a bad decision here and there, missing the cut by one shot, three‑putting this hole, three‑putting the last hole, missing the cut, missing Q‑School by one in finals to get the card.  You know, things like that.  It really bugs you.  It really hurts, because you dwell on the fact that I've been playing so long and I'm just wondering why it hadn't happened yet.  But it happens.  I mean if you got a dream, go after it.  You work hard and it works out in the end, because hard work pays off.

Q.  Was "The Big Break" a turning point or was there another thing you could point to as getting you in the right direction?
TOMMY GAINEY:  Well, you know, "The Big Break" helped out a lot.  One of the biggest things it helped me with is the camera.  You know, a lot of players out here, you know, you get the camera on you, you're saying, well, man, I don't want to hit a bad shot, because there's over a hundred million people watching the Golf Channel that's looking at you.  You don't want them laughing at you, do you?  So it helped me with the camera.  Get used to it and just worry about playing golf and not worrying about the people, the camera or anything else.  It's just all about hitting a golf shot.

Q.  Tommy, when you talk about the highs and lows along the way, what are your emotions when you come back here a year later after what you've accomplished?
TOMMY GAINEY:  Cloud 9.  How can you not be on Cloud 9 when you get here after winning last year?  Very comfortable with the golf course.  Feel like since I've won here, I feel like that I can do it again.
But I think everyone knows, when you talk about trying to defend your title, it's not easy because everybody wants to go after you just a little more.  And to me that's fine.  I'm just going to play the best I can play for the week, and what happens I can live with.

Q.  Tommy, what's your opinion in the early stages of this new schedule that starts in one calendar year and continues on, with the fall events?  Do you like it so far?  Is it so new that you haven't really formulated an opinion or what's your take on it right now?
TOMMY GAINEY:  I got an opinion.  I don't know if anybody wants to hear it or not.  But I got an opinion.  I really don't like it.  I'm just going to say one word.  Confusing.

Q.  Tommy, last question, which is more difficult, playing Seaside in the wind or breaking glass?
TOMMY GAINEY:  Breaking glass.  I got lucky in the clinic to break it on my first try, and by the way, everyone knows in "The Big Break" when I was there, I did not break any glass.  I was there standing there trying to break it.  Everyone else broke their glass and I'm standing there, I'm like the idiot that just can't break glass.

Q.  You can break a frame.
TOMMY GAINEY:  Oh, I can break the frame.  I can break the wood.  I just couldn't break the glass.  But I mean, that's okay.  I can live with it.  I'm just glad that the kids had a good time.
THE MODERATOR:  All right.  Anything else?  Tommy Gainey, thank you, sir.
TOMMY GAINEY:  Thank you.  

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