A.O. Smith recently announced that it will sponsor PGA newcomer Tommy “Two Gloves” Gainey for the upcoming 2008 PGA Tour season. Gainey, the self-taught golfer from Bishopville, S.C., is a former employee at A.O. Smith’s McBee, S.C., water heater plant.
“A.O. Smith gave me an opportunity to make a living so many years ago when I began working at the McBee plant,” said Gainey. “I don’t think that I can ever thank them enough for putting their faith in me yet again and deciding to sponsor me on the tour.”
Gainey’s life-long passion has been to play the game of golf professionally. Former co-workers say he used to play a round every chance that he got. Gainey says a majority of his free time away from the plant was on the course.
Last year proved to be a busy and pivotal year for Gainey. He was the winner of both the 2007 Tarheel Tour Oldfield Open and the 2007 Hooters Tour Bentonville Open. After starring on The Golf Channel’s Big Break II, Gainey was asked back to compete on Big Break VII; The Reunion at Reunion, and he walked away with the winner’s trophy. In December, Gainey reached his life-long ambition - earning his tour card, tied for 19th at the PGA Q-School.
“We are very proud of Tommy for all of his recent accomplishments and are honored to be sponsoring him on this year’s tour,” said Ajita Rajendra, president of A.O. Smith Water Products. “We wish him luck and will be following his progress this year.”
Gainey made the cut in his first PGA tournament appearance in 2008 at the Sony Open in Honolulu.