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It was Graham who helped get Gainey on Golf Channel's Big Break IV in 2005, when most of the world learned of Two Gloves for the first time. He got knocked out in episode seven, but he was invited back for Big Break VII in '07, which he promptly won. His victory earned him $25,000 and a new car, among other things. He was 19th at Q school in '07, finished 236th in the FedEx Cup standings the following year and has made it back to the Show—in a big way. Gloves has a good grip on things.
"He hasn't changed since middle school, when I first started playing with him," says PGA Tour veteran Jonathan Byrd, who was born in Anderson, S.C. "He played with two gloves back then too."
Gainey likes to say that golf is the hardest game in the world and the best game in the world, and he saw both sides in his two rounds at Quail Hollow. "Golf is just something I always wanted to do," he says. He is wearing an a.o. smith cap, his life having come full circle, his future as bright as the Carolina blue sky.
"If Tommy Gainey ever starts putting like he used to putt at an early age, look out," Gainey Sr. says. "He's not going to win one tournament. He's going to win many tournaments. But he won't think he's made it until he wins a PGA Tour event and plays in the Masters."
Like that, the mind wanders to two black gloves, poking through the arms of a green jacket.
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Follow Tommy (Two Gloves) Gainey in this week's Players at GOLF.com/players