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QUICK TAKE: Ten Years After Mexico Triumph, Gay Back In Contention

Brian Gay (Photo credit: Cliff Hawkins, Getty Images)

PLAYA DEL CARMEN, MEXICO | For Brian Gay, it doesn’t seem like his 2008 victory at the Mayakoba Golf Classic happened 10 years ago.

“Yeah, it feels like 20,” he deadpanned.

Life has certainly changed since his first PGA Tour victory, one that came in the 293rd start of his career. Gay’s daughter, Makinley, came running onto the green as a youngster back then – now she is in college and is a cheerleader for Gay’s alma mater, the University of Florida.

But other than that? The four-time Tour winner is still going strong, now making his 552nd start and still able to play the game at a high level. That was evident during Friday’s second round when he started with five consecutive 3s on the scorecard and finished with an 8-under 63 to get into contention.

“I’m still out here, thank God,” Gay said. “I’m still around, fighting these young guys.”

Gay has long been a model of consistency, but recent years have challenged the iron man’s endurance. He didn’t play the 2014-2015 season due to a back injury and had to play the ensuing two seasons on a major medical exemption.

You may remember last year when Gay had apparently fallen short of qualifying for the Players Championship because he did not earn enough FedEx Cup points under the major medical exemption rules until Gay realized there was a discrepancy in how the FedEx Cup points were doled out from the 2015-2016 season to the 2016-2017 one. The Tour then allowed him to play in the Players Championship and awarded Ian Poulter, also playing on a major medical exemption, a full-time Tour card. Poulter almost won the tournament and sent a nice gift over to Gay.

The good karma has followed the 46-year-old as he finished 59th on the FedEx Cup points list on the strength of six top-10 finishes. He has made all three cuts so far this season and is poised for a great result this weekend in Mexico.

“I’m off to a good start and hopefully two more good days ahead.”


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