HOW FAR CAN GAINEY GO?
Hanger: Gainey shot 60 early in the day and edged three players who are past their primes -- Love, Toms and Furyk. But does he have the game to beat the Tour's best players on one of its biggest stages?
Herre: Gainey's a grinder for the ages and I wouldn't bet against him in a money game, but over 72 holes under major pressure? No.
Bamberger: The easy answer is no, but the fun answer is yes. I say yes.
Herre: You're a romantic, Michael.
Walker: It was a big first PGA Tour win for a guy who's been close a lot. Gainey is a refreshing personality on Tour. It would be great to see him compete at bigger events.
Van Sickle: If John Daly can do it twice … Anybody who has enough game to shoot 60 in competition can have a hot week anywhere. It seems a lot less likely that it would happen at a major, but all it takes is the right week and the right setup. Sometimes, a major course is so difficult that nobody can make birdies. That's when you usually see the unexpected winner. Orville Moody won an Open. So did Lou Graham. Shaun Micheel won a PGA. I wouldn't bet on Two Gloves to win a major, but I'd never say that he, or any other entrant, couldn't win. I believe they can.
Herre: You're right, Gary. I say the odds are long against a guy like Gainey, and that Daly is much more talented. However, if you are good enough to play on the PGA Tour, you are good enough to win on any given week.
Van Sickle: Daly was a superior talent, absolutely. No comparison. But funny things happen in golf. Ask Jack Fleck.
Wei: The odds are no for Gainey, but what he did Sunday was pretty crazy, and he's such a likeable character that I'll go with yes. I love a good underdog.
Dusek: Gainey's not ready to win the big one yet, but that's OK. First he got himself on the PGA Tour, and then he started getting his name on the leaderboard on Thursday and Fridays. The next step was getting into contention, which he's done a few times. After that, it's about winning. I have no feel for how much inherent talent Gainey has, but my gut tells me he's a win-every-few-years kind of player and someone who will keep his accountant busy.
Bamberger: Payne Stewart had the ultimate homemade swing. He couldn't tell you a thing about it, but it was a joy to watch and kept time like a fine watch.
Van Sickle: How about Sandy Lyle? His swing was no beauty and he had no idea what he was really doing, yet he won two majors and was probably the best player in the world for a two-year stretch in the late '80s.
Bamberger: Sandy learned the game from his father, a club pro, whose main instruction to him was, "Make it pretty, Sandy." A claret jug and a green coat are certainly pretty.
Wei: And what about Bubba Watson? He's won a Masters and three other Tour events. He's missed 3 cuts in 19 starts this year and his worst finish after four rounds was T23. That's pretty darn good.
Van Sickle: I think a homemade swing may actually be an advantage in many ways. We've been talking about the ownership thing. I think that's huge.
Wei: When Furyk greeted Tommy in the scoring area, he gave him a big hug and they shared some words. I heard Tommy say, "Thanks for the talk." I asked him about it in his press conference (which, by the way, was in my top three for the year), and he described what Furyk told him during a nine-hole practice round at the PGA: "He said, 'Tommy, you know, when you were on the mini tours, you were kicking their tail, and now you get out here and you struggle a little bit.' He said, 'Man, don't change your game. Just keep going at it.' …Who knows what would have happened if we didn't play nine holes together?"
Tell us what you think in the comments section below: Does Gainey have the game to contend in the majors?