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Golf roundup

Quinney, Gainey on target

They go low in opening round

Tommy “Two Gloves’’ Gainey carded five birdies and an eagle en route to his 7-under-par 63. Tommy “Two Gloves’’ Gainey carded five birdies and an eagle en route to his 7-under-par 63. (Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
Associated Press / August 19, 2011

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If Jeff Quinney keeps this up, he might soon have a new PGA Tour card - and a spot in the playoffs.

Quinney and Tommy Gainey shot 7-under-par 63s yesterday to share the lead after one round in the Wyndham Championship at Greensboro, N.C.

Quinney had eight birdies, including five in a row early in his round, to start strong in his last chance to qualify for golf’s postseason.

Gainey had five birdies and an eagle in matching his career-best round. Both players are chasing their first PGA Tour victory.

Stuart Appleby had a 64. Ten players - Paul Casey, Carl Pettersson, Ernie Els, Jason Bohn, Jimmy Walker, Tim Herron, Lee Janzen, Jim Furyk, Vijay Singh, and George McNeill - shot 65s during another low-scoring day at Sedgefield Country Club.

Quinney arrived in 215th place in the FedEx Cup standings. A win - and the 500 points that accompany it - would put him in The Barclays.

“The only chance I get in the playoffs is probably winning this week, and coming with the attitude of ‘all-in,’ ’’ Quinney said. “Basically, just push all your chips in, and this is what I got.’’

Starting on the back nine, Quinney birdied Nos. 12-16 to move to 5 under. After a bogey on No. 18, he added three more birdies on his final nine holes and closed by sticking his 140-yard approach shot within 3 feet and sinking that putt for his eighth birdie.

Gainey, known as “Two Gloves’’ for obvious reasons, caught him during the afternoon, with four birdies and the eagle coming during the South Carolina native’s front nine. He moved to 7 under with a birdie on the par-4 13th, but ran into trouble on No. 15 when he sent his tee shot into a creek and closed his round with five pars.

Gainey - who’s at No. 40 on the points list - is safely in the playoff field.

Some others here this week aren’t quite that secure. The Wyndham annually marks the final chance to crack the top 125 on the points list and qualify for the postseason, which starts next week in New Jersey.

Els, who arrived at No. 126, was part of a threesome of bubble players that also included No. 124 Cameron Beckman and No. 125 Camilo Villegas.

“I said to the guys, ‘My playoffs started this week. If I don’t play well this week, I’m not advancing,’ ’’ Els said. “Most of the other guys have four playoff events. I have five.’’

Fabian Gomez delivered the shot of the day - a double eagle on the par-5 15th. His 5-wood from 250 yards went into the hole on the fly for the tour’s third albatross of the year.

Champions - Jeff Sluman shot a 6-under 65 to take a one-stroke lead after the first round of the Senior Players Championship, the Champions Tour’s final major of the season.

Sluman, the winner last month at Pebble Beach, had seven birdies and a bogey on Westchester Country Club’s tree-lined West Course in Harrison, N.Y. Gary Hallberg and Peter Senior opened with 66s.

Jay Haas, the 2009 winner, and Corey Pavin and Michael Allen were two strokes back at 67, and Fred Couples, defending champion Mark O’Meara, and Tommy Armour III had 68s.

Tom Watson struggled, shooting a 76.

Sluman had seven birdies in an 11-hole stretch from No. 4 to 14, including three in a row on Nos. 12-14. He bogeyed the par-3 16th, then closed with two pars.

Couples, playing in his first event since undergoing non-traditional back treatment six weeks ago in Germany, was 5 under through 11 holes, but dropped three strokes with bogeys on Nos. 12-14. He birdied No. 16 to get back to 3 under.

European - Peter Lawrie shot a 6-under 66 to take a one-stroke lead after the first round of the Czech Open at Celadna.

Damien McGrane, Victor Dubuisson, and Pedro Oriol were tied for second. Mikael Lundberg and Shane Lowry were at 68.