Gore Suddenly Living the Good Life

By Alison PierceSeptember 23, 2005, 4:00 pm
Nationwide TourJason Gore began this year ranked as the 818th best golfer in the world. This week, as the latest PGA Tour winner, he is ranked 88th. Now Americas favorite everyman relishes his arrival, smothered in the warm light of distinction and the confusing aura of celebrity.
 
Its almost embarrassing kind of, says Gore, that familiar-by-now smile abashed by the media attention. To tell you the truth, nothings really changed.
 
Jason Gore
With his win at the 84 Lumber Classic, Jason Gore has seen his ranking climb from 818th at the start of the year all the way up to 88th.
Except, of course, that exactly three months and four days ago all the belongings were stolen out of his car in North Carolina, and he was worried about money. Real worried.
 
Then, last Sunday at the 84 Lumber Classic, they handed him a check for $792,000.
 
Its all happened so fast, its overwhelming. But its not going to change me as a person, Gore insists.
 
And the proof is right here this week, back on the Nationwide Tour at the Albertsons Boise Open. Gore is the first PGA Tour winner to return to the second-best tour the week after winning on the PGA Tour.
 
Why is he here? Because he said he would be.
 
This weeks tournament director Jeff Sanders expected nothing less. Once he committed, no matter what, he was coming, says Sanders. Because we know him from the past we have a special relationship. Hes got a fan base here.
 
To say the least.ticket sales have increased by over 100 percent since tournament officials announced Gore was returning. His distinct figure even graces billboards around town announcing -Jason Gore is coming to Boise!
 
The Boise Open holds certain significance for Gore as well. In 1997, not too long after graduating from Pepperdine University, Albertsons offered Gore an invitation to play. He considered it an enormous opportunity. But as he was heading out the door that September morning to fly to Idaho, Gore found his father face down on the floor.
 
Basically he died of a heart attack the day I turned pro, said Jason, emotions welling. Needless to say, he didnt make it to the tournament that day.
 
Gore did however make it back to Boise in 2002 to take the trophy and he hasnt forgotten the faith that people here had in him back then. Im here to help the tournament any way I could.
 
I think its indicative of the kind of person he is, says Albertsons CEO Larry Johnston. He knows where he came from, he has tremendous humility and at the same time is a tenacious competitor. We really like him a lot.
 
Wednesday after playing his pro-am round, Gore wanders by the Hillcrest clubhouse in the flat afternoon sun. He looks happy, he looks unhurried, he looks wiped out. He hardly gets a few paces before a well-wisher approaches.
 
This time its Jason Enloe, ranked 135th on the Nationwide Tour money list. Enloe extends his hand and a truly genuine smile, Congratulations man, he beams, Good for you. Great to see you.
 
Golf Channel host Brian Anderson, who travels every week with the Nationwide Tour, knows how well loved Gore is among the players.
 
With Gores win, [at the 84 Lumber] he validated what these guys are doing out here on the Nationwide Tour, says Anderson.
 
I hope they realize that this could happen to any one of them. I hope they can use it as an inspiration, says Gore, who partly feels guilty for being here this week because he doesnt want to take away earnings that might help another player earn a PGA Tour card.
 
But on the other hand, I want to bring some exposure to this [Nationwide] tour that really needs and deserves it, says Gore. This isnt the second-best tour. Its just that there isnt enough room for all the players that deserve to play on the PGA Tour.
 
So how did Gore do it? Golf analysts are convinced that his fairytale success has come from a total mental makeover and the work of a mysterious figure known as Dr. Preston Waddington, his sports psychologist.
 
Gore just laughs at this, Hes not really a normal sports psychologist really. Basically all he did was get inside me, how I work, and how I was raised. He let me free up and realize that it just wasnt so important. The last putt on Sunday and the first drive on Thursday are equally important.
 
Overall, Jason says he is relaxed. He is having more fun playing. It is just a game he is lucky to play for a living. hit it, chase it and find it, and hit it again. Its simple.
 
Its hard for Jason to set goals now, says Anderson. He keeps knocking them off so fast and he has to re-up.
 
But Jason has goals.
 
It would be really cool to play at Augusta, he says quietly almost as if he cant believe he said it.
 
Hes calculated that the easiest route to The Masters is to move from his position at 88th to inside the top 50 in the world ranking. This late in the year it would be tough to do it through the money list, he says. Unlesshe won again. Hmmm.
 
Its amazing where a little perseverance and grit and maybe a little ignorance can take you, says Gore in a press conference. Anything is possible with desire and ambition, and for Gods sake, I even graduated college!(laughter)
 
At this moment Gores future looks secure, and perhaps hell even lay low for a while. But dont count on it, his latest goals are just beginning to percolate.
 
Related links:
  • Full Coverage - Albertsons Boise Open
  • Getty Images

    Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

    Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Web.com Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

    "Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

    Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.


    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

    "That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

    Getty Images

    Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

    By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

    There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

    Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

    Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

    Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.

    @tommyfleetwood_1

    A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

    The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

    It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.

    Getty Images

    Mickelson starts fast, fades to 70 at La Quinta

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:07 pm

    Phil Mickelson got off to a fast start in his first competitive round of 2018 - for six holes, at least.

    The 47-year-old is making his first start since the WGC-HSBC Champions this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge, and only his third competitive appearance since the BMW Championship in September. Four birdies over his first six holes indicated that a strong opener might be in the cards, but Mickelson played his subsequent holes in 2 over.

    It added up to a 2-under 70 at La Quinta Country Club, typically the easiest of the three courses in rotation this week, and left Mickelson eight shots behind Jon Rahm.

    "It was fun to get back out and be competitive," Mickelson told reporters. "I for some reason am stuck on 70 here at La Quinta, whether I get off to a good start or a bad one, I end up shooting the same score."


    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    Mickelson stunted his momentum with a tee shot out of bounds on the par-4 eighth hole, but he managed to save bogey and otherwise drove the ball relatively well. Instead, he pointed to his normally reliable iron play as the culprit for his back-nine backslide on a day when more than 120 players in the 156-man field broke par.

    Mickelson will now head to the Nicklaus Tournament Course with the Stadium Course on tap for Saturday's third round. While there were several low scores Thursday at La Quinta, Mickelson remains bullish about the birdie opportunities that still lie ahead.

    "This isn't the course where I go low on," Mickelson said. "I feel more comfortable on Stadium and Nicklaus. Neither of them are nearly as tight and I tend to score a lot lower on those other two than I do here, historically."

    Getty Images

    Rahm (62) shoots career low round at CareerBuilder

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 10:33 pm

    After a banner year in 2017, Jon Rahm found a way to add yet another accolade to his growing list of accomplishments during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    Rahm got off to a fast start at La Quinta Country Club, playing his first seven holes in 6 under en route to a 10-under 62. The score marked his career low on the PGA Tour by two shots and gave him an early lead in an event that utilizes a three-course rotation.

    La Quinta was the site of Adam Hadwin's 59 during last year's event, and Rahm knew full well that a quick start opened the door to a memorably low score.

    "Any time you have that going for you, you get thoughts come in your head, 60, maybe 59," Rahm told reporters. "I knew that if I kept playing good I was going to have more birdie opportunities, and I tried not to get ahead of myself and I was able to do it."


    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    Rahm birdied his first two holes before an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole sparked him to an outward 30. He added four more birdies on the inward half without dropping a shot.

    The Spaniard is the highest-ranked player in the field this week, and while many players opted for a two-week stint in Hawaii he instead came home for some practice after opening the new year with a runner-up finish at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. That decision appears to have paid some early dividends as Rahm gets set to defend a PGA Tour title for the first time next week at Torrey Pines.

    Low scores were plentiful on all three courses during the opening round, and Rahm remained pleased with his effort even though he fell short of matching Hadwin's sub-60 score from a year ago.

    "That's golf. You're not going to make every single putt, you're not going to hit every shot perfect," he said. "Overall, you've got to look at the bigger picture. I birdied the last hole, had a couple of great sand saves coming in, shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for."