Tommy Gainey will now have to earn a spot in this summer’s U.S. Open if he wants to compete at Pebble Beach in 2019. The veteran pro had to withdraw from this week’s AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am after missing his connecting flight to California.
Oddly, Gainey’s travel issues leave him right where he started the week. As of Monday Gainey was not in the field at Pebble Beach due to his poor position in the Official World Golf Ranking (No. 1,749). But after a rash of withdrawals over the last three days, a spot opened up for Gainey, who was well down the list of alternates for the event.
On Wednesday afternoon at 4:45 p.m., Gainey received a call from the tournament telling him he had made the field after all. Needing to act quickly, Gainey packed and hit the road to the airport in just 20 minutes.
But after his first plane was delayed, he missed his connecting flight in Atlanta. Ironically, Gainey’s bags made it onto the plane in time. As Gainey said on Twitter, “My bags are on the way and I’m stuck in Atl.”
Given that it was already Wednesday night in Atlanta and his tee time was early the next morning in Northern California, Gainey was forced to withdraw from the tournament altogether.
It’s a pretty big blow for a struggling player who can’t be picky about which events to play. For anyone without Tour status, every PGA Tour start is precious. But Gainey, whose lone Tour victory came at the 2012 McGladrey Classic, stayed upbeat and sent an optimistic tweet.
The AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am kicked off Thursday without Gainey. You can follow the entire event on our leaderboard.