Brian Gay had to cancel a week off after winning the PGA Tour's St Jude Classic in Memphis – and earning the final invite to this week’s US Open Championship.
"Right now I don't know if we're going home first or what we're going to do, whether we spend tomorrow travelling, going home and repacking," Gay said in Memphis last night. "Get to work on Tuesday I guess."
Gay came to Memphis as one of seven players with a chance to grab the Open exemption as a multiple winner in the last calendar year. He responded with his second win in his last five events and the third victory of his career, beating David Toms and Bryce Molder by five strokes.
"I felt I had to go out and play golf. If I won, I'd get the chance to play," Gay said.
He grabbed the $1,008,000 winner's cheque after birdying three of the first six holes to take all the suspense out of the final round, and birdied the 18th to finish at 18-under 262.
Toms finished with a 65, and Molder had a 70. John Senden (64), Paul Goydos (68) and Robert Allenby (69) tied for fourth at 12 under.
"It was a pretty good golf tournament except for one guy stealing the show," said Toms, the tournament winner in 2003 and 2004.
Phil Mickelson, in his first event since announcing wife Amy has breast cancer, and John Daly, playing for the first time on TOUR in six months, tied for 59th at 1 over. Mickelson closed with a 75, and Daly shot a 70.
It wasn't as large a victory as in April when Gay won by 10 at Hilton Head. It just felt like that on a day where no one could get close enough on wet fairways that stopped balls with almost no roll. Officials had moved up the start by four hours hoping to beat incoming storms that popped up in the morning to delay the start of the final round -- by four hours. It didn't rain again.
Gay needed only 100 putts to become the fourth wire-to-wire winner in the tournament's 52-year history and first since Justin Leonard in 2005.