Tommy Gainey is struggling with his tee shots. He’s having a tough time with his irons. He’s fighting a nagging wrist injury.
And he’s got one of the best two-round scores in Wyndham Championship history.
Gainey shot a 65 on Friday to move to 12-under 128 and take a three-stroke lead after two rounds of the final event before the start of golf’s postseason.
Gainey, who shared the first-round lead with Jeff Quinney, had six birdies and has the second-best 36-hole score in the history of the tournament.
Ernie Els (66), Webb Simpson (65), Stuart Appleby (67) and Daniel Summerhays (65) were at 131. Jim Furyk (67), Alexandre Rocha (66), Paul Casey (67) and Retief Goosen (65) were four strokes back at 132.
After recording five birdies and an eagle a day earlier during his career-best-tying 63, Gainey said he was “going to light it up” against the fresh greens he would face Friday morning.
It didn’t happen quite like that, but he did turn in another solid round that kept him in contention for his first PGA Tour win.
Starting on the back nine, the South Carolina native had his first bogey of the tournament on the par-4 No. 11. Then, he warmed up. He birdied four of his final nine holes and closed his round with consecutive birdies, rolling in a 13-foot putt on No. 9 to finish.
A left wrist he sprained while hitting out of the rough last month at the RBC Canadian Open has made it tougher to keep his tee shots in the fairways and hampered his work with the irons.
“I hit it worse today than I did yesterday off the tee. I hit my irons worse than I did yesterday,” Gainey said. “It’s just hard to make birdies when you keep putting yourself ... in the rough. ... The harder you swing at it to get it out, just the more shock that goes into the wrist.”
Still, only Carl Pettersson’s 125 in 2008 was better than Gainey’s score through 36 holes at the Donald Ross-designed, par-70 Sedgefield Country Club course.
“I haven’t really accomplished anything in two days,” Gainey said. “The only thing I’ve accomplished is, I’ve set myself up in good shape going into the weekend. But, still, there’s a lot that can happen in one day.”