Former PGA Tour and current Korn Ferry Tour pro Tommy Gainey will avoid jail time for his December 2019 arrest for soliciting a prostitute, according to a report from GolfDigest.com.
Gainey, who was caught in a Polk County the week of Korn Ferry Tour Qualifying School Final Stage, will instead serve 11 months probation, take a class on human trafficking, serve up to 100 hours of community service and pay fines and fees totaling $6,218.60.
The sting investigation, dubbed “Operation Santa’s Naughty List,” spanned six days and utilized undercover detectives posing as prostitutes to arrest 124 men.
Gainey, who won the 2012 McGladrey Classic, told investigators he was in town for a charity golf outing. According to jail records, Gainey was arrested on Sunday, December 8 and released after posting his $500 bail. He was facing a first-degree misdemeanor solicitation charge.
He was caught on video, obtained by TMZ, offering an undercover detective $60 in exchange for a “quick visit.” He also told the undercover detective that he would be in town for the rest of the week.
In a news conference on the week of the arrest, Polk County Sherriff Grady Judd said that police used online advertisements to arrange meetings with suspects before going through each arrested party.
When Judd spoke about Gainey, he told assembled media that Gainey was married and also a professional golfer who was in town to play in a charity golf event on Monday.
— Andrea Lyon 🎞 (@andrealyonTV) December 11, 2019
“He was supposed to be in the next morning tee off,” Judd said. “He didn’t make it. He was a scratch. He missed his tee time the next morning.”
Prosecutors agreed to drop the misdemeanor solicitation charge in exchange for Gainey’s probation agreement, which could be reduced should the South Carolina native meet the requirements of the plea deal quickly.
With his arrest and subsequent troubles hanging over his head, Gainey was still able to earn his KFT card later that week, and a few weeks later at the first event of the season, Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay, Gainey broke through for his first win since 2012.
First top-10 since 2015. 🏆
— Korn Ferry Tour (@KornFerryTour) January 15, 2020
In his post-tournament interview, Gainey only mentioned “getting his life back on track,” and thanked his family for their support.
“This means everything,” he said. “My wife, I love her to death. Her and the boys mean everything.”
Through the first four events of the season, Gainey sits in fourth place on the top-25 list, which guarantees a PGA Tour card for the following season. Gainey is not in the field this week at the KFT’s LECOM Suncoast Classic.