Tommy Gainey ties career-low round with 62 to lead at Albertsons Boise Open presented by Kraft Nabisco
A week after shooting an 81 in Portland – his worst round in more than three years – Tommy Gainey began the Albertsons Boise Open presented by Kraft Nabisco with a 9-under 62 to take a one-stroke lead after 18 holes. Gainey hit all 18 greens and tallied nine birdies in his bogey-free round, a fitting way to celebrate his 45th birthday on Thursday.
“I’ve had some great rounds in my career on my birthday in the past, but none as low as 62,” laughed Gainey. “My last few tournaments I’ve gotten off to really bad starts, like always bogeying the first hole. On No. 10 today, my first hole, I hit it to about 12 feet and made the putt for birdie. When you go from a bogey start to a birdie start, right away you’ve got momentum built.”
Gainey birdied his first three holes of the day and didn’t look back, turning at 5-under 30 and tacking on four more birdies on the front nine coming in. The 62 tied his lowest career round on the Korn Ferry Tour, a mark he previously set in 2010 and again in 2014.
“I shot 81 in the first round in Portland last week and then shot 67 in the second round,” said Gainey. “That second round I found something and carried it on into today. I made some putts, I think I had 27 putts out there today, and I hit every green and a lot of fairways.”
Gainey, a former PGA TOUR champion and three-time winner on the Korn Ferry Tour, won the first event of the year at The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay. Since then, he has made just three of nine cuts and dropped to 21st in the Korn Ferry Tour points standings.
“That’s just golf,” said Gainey, remarking on his inconsistencies this season. “If you’re not hitting it all that well and putting it well, then you won’t make birdies. Out here, if you don’t make birdies, you don’t make cuts. I started making some birdies today and I’m going to try and build off that for the first two days.”
Charlie Saxon continued his recent tear with an opening-round 63 to sit one shot back. The 27-year-old has earned top-20 finishes in three of his last five starts and co-led through 36 holes last week before a disappointing weekend. Still, he has risen from 113th on the points list a month and a half ago to 63rd entering this week at Hillcrest Country Club.
“It was a rough start to the year, but I was working really hard,” said Saxon, who set a new career-low round on Tour with the 63. “I feel like I’ve been working on some of the right things here lately and it’s starting to come to fruition. I’ve been playing some good golf and I’m confident in what I’m doing. Golf can feel really hard sometimes and it did at the beginning of the year, but right now it’s starting to feel pretty easy. You just ride these times out while you can.”
Second-round tee times will run from 7:30 a.m. to 2:31 p.m. on Friday. The tournament will be broadcast live on GolfChannel.com from 3-6 p.m. MT and tape-delayed on Golf Channel from 7-9 p.m. MT on Friday.