ASHLAND CITY, TENN. -- A. O. Smith recently announced its contract extension through 2011 with Tommy "Two Gloves" Gainey, who will be sporting the water heater manufacturer's logo on his hat and golf bag. The self-taught golfer from small-town Bishopville, S.C., is a former employee at the A. O. Smith 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," Gainey said. "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. A majority of his free time away from the plant was on the course, Gainey said.
"I can honestly say that part of my check used to go toward golf in some form or fashion every week. I guess you can say A. O. Smith started supporting me and my love for the game before they even realized it," Gainey said.
His success last year was more proof of Gainey's dedication and skill on the course -- he finished second to Davis Love III, at the 2008 Children's Miracle Network Classic at Disney. Gainey's golf career really kicked off in 2007 when 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 2008, Gainey reached his lifelong ambition, earning his tour card by finishing tied for 19th at the PGA Q-School.
"We are very proud of Tommy for all of his recent accomplishments and are honored to continue sponsoring him through 2011," said Ajita Rajendra, president, A. O. Smith Water Products Co. "We wish him luck and will be following his progress on the course."
Headquartered in Ashland City, Tenn., A. O. Smith Water Products Co. is a leading manufacturer and marketer of residential and commercial water heaters and boilers. Additional information is available at www.hotwater.com.