Golf

Injury forces Gainey to withdraw fron Wichita Open

Tommy Gainey will have to continue his bid for a third Nationwide Tour victory this season somewhere other than Wichita.

Gainey withdrew from the Wichita Open after three holes Saturday when he injured his lower back while attempting a swing. The former Golf Channel reality show winner nicknamed "Two Gloves" caught a tree limb on his downswing on his second shot at the par-4 third hole and hurt his right side near the waist line.

"I hit the ground and the club just stopped," said Gainey, No. 2 on the tour money list behind Jamie Lovemark. "I didn't follow through. It was just like hitting a wall and the wall didn't give."

Gainey was in the trees after pulling his tee shot left on the 343-yard hole on Crestview Country Club's North course. His second shot advanced just a few feet. He completed the hole, but said the walk to the green was unbearable.

It was a disappointing turn of events for Gainey, who entered the day tied for 29th at 7 under. He birdied each of the first two holes before suffering the injury.

"I felt like I was going to catch them," Gainey said. "After those birdies, I felt like it's on now. I was ready to go."

Gainey received medical treatment, then walked a few holes with Daniel Summerhays and David Robinson to keep the back loose. He said his early plan for next week's Price Cutter Charity Championship in Springfield, Mo., was to skip the practice rounds and see how the back healed.

"I just want to take it very easy to see if it's going to hurt or if it's going to be something I can deal with the rest of the week," Gainey said. "I'm No. 2 on the money list and I don't want to take any chances of putting that in jeopardy.

"If I lose a spot or two this week, it's not a big thing. I'm just looking down the road."

Scramblin' man — The tee shot went right and the approach went right. But Chris Kirk followed with a nifty pitch shot and 8-foot birdie putt at No. 18 to complete the tournament's seventh round of 8-under-par 63 on Saturday.

"That was pretty indicative of my round right there," said Kirk, who climbed to 14 under after 54 holes, completing his round minutes before second-round leader Roberto Castro headed to the first tee. "To be honest, I just hit it all over the golf course."

Kirk, fourth on the money list, had 30 putts in an opening-round 67 on Thursday. He needed just 24 putts to get around Crestview in the third round.

"I chipped and putted like a mad man," said Kirk, who helped Georgia win an NCAA title in 2005. "It was probably my best chipping and putting round of the year, or close to it."

Not on board — Tour veteran John Riegger wasn't a big fan of the festive atmosphere at the par-3 17th during the third round.

After hitting his tee shot on top of the face of a bunker left of the green, a noise from a nearby hospitality tent disrupted his second shot. He pitched 10 feet past the hole and missed the par putt.

As he left the green, Riegger gave a long stare in the direction of the noisemaker. He also made a subtle, obscene gesture that caused a buzz in the stands.

Six packs punch — Once again, the 468-yard, par-4 sixth hole was the most difficult hole on the course Saturday. The third-round stroke average there was 4.176 and is 4.218 for the tournament. There were only seven birdies.

Notes — Michael Schachner, playing in his first Nationwide Tour event, shot a 7-under 64 to move into a tie for 11th. The Duke graduate shot a 60 in the third round of the 2007 NCAA Championships.... Alan Morin's 64 topped his previous best Nationwide Tour round by three shots. His 67 came at the BMW Charity Pro-Am in May.... With Lovemark and Gainey not playing today, Martin Piller and Kirk have a chance to move to the top of the tour money list. Piller, $28,000 behind leader Lovemark, is tied for 49th. Kirk, $47,933 out of the top spot, is tied for seventh.... The field's stroke average was 68.294 in the third round. There were 54 scores (out of 68) below par. The highest score in the field was a 3-over.

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