The Gore-y Details

By Brian HewittSeptember 28, 2005, 4:00 pm
Jason Gore is taking the week off. He is a big man with a big heart who has had a big year. He has earned his short break in a big way.
The golfing public discovered him at the U.S. Open in June when Gore played his way into Sundays final group with Retief Goosen. Neither broke 80 that day as their hopes for victory went up in smoke.
But Gore left Pinehurst with Mack truck full of confidence. Soon he was winning three straight events on the Nationwide Tour to earn an automatic promotion to the PGA Tour. Then he was setting precedent by winning on the Big Show at the 84 Lumber Classic.
At 31 years of age Gore was golfs new everyman. And the phone of his agent, Ralph Cross, started to ring off the hook. Actually cell phones dont have hooks. And they make all kinds of strange noises.
Gore was making noises with television producers, commercial endorsers and corporate marketers. His asking fee for a Monday outing more than doubled from his going rate of $10,000. Ive been in this business for 20 years,. said Cross, his voice trailing off.
And he had never seen anything like it.
My favorite Gore story is the one that unfolded on the practice range in Vancouver earlier this month. He was hitting balls when a fan called from the other side of the ropes.
Hey, the fan said, that really IS your smile.
Gore walked over and shook the fans hand.
Meanwhile, here are the Gore-y details on Jasons remaining schedule: He is not in the field this week at the Chrysler Classic of Greensboro. But he plans on playing three more Tour events.
His camp believes he still has an outside shot at making the Tour Championship even though he ranks 84th on the money list. One more victory would do it. Who are we to doubt?
Gore already has accepted an invitation to play in the Franklin Templeton Shootout where he will partner with Fred Funk in November. And he is slotted for the ADT Skills Challenge and the Callaway Invitational'all before Thanksgiving.
Cross says they are weighing several other offers and added that Gore plans to get to Maui early for the Mercedes Championships at the beginning of 2006.
I think people are tired of everybody grinding so much out on the Tour, Cross says. They like Jasons smile.
Corporate marketers have quickly become hip to the fact that Gores the guy many of their clients want to draw at the Tuesday night pairings parties.
Jason Gore is the feel good story of the year in golf. One or two more wins and he will become a bona fide needle mover when it comes to ticket sales and TV ratings.
Email your thoughts to Brian Hewitt
Getty Images

McCoy earns medalist honors at Q-School

By Will GrayDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 am

One year after his budding career was derailed by a car accident, Lee McCoy got back on track by earning medalist honors at the final stage of Tour Q-School.

McCoy shot a final-round 65 at Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler, Ariz., to finish the 72-hole event at 28 under. That total left him two shots ahead of Sung-Jae Im and guaranteed him fully-exempt status on the developmental circuit in 2018.

It's an impressive turnaround for the former University of Georgia standout who finished fourth at the 2016 Valspar Championship as an amateur while playing alongside Jordan Spieth in the final round. But he broke his wrist in a car accident the day before second stage of Q-School last year, leaving him without status on any major tour to begin the year.

McCoy was not the only player who left Arizona smiling. Everyone in the top 10 and ties will be exempt through the first 12 events of the new Tour season, a group that includes former amateur standouts Curtis Luck (T-3), Sam Burns (T-10) and Maverick McNealy (T-10).

Players who finished outside the top 10 but inside the top 45 and ties earned exemptions into the first eight events of 2018. That group includes Cameron Champ (T-16), who led the field in driving at this year's U.S. Open as an amateur, and Wyndham Clark (T-23).

Everyone who advanced to the final stage of Q-School will have at least conditional Tour status in 2018. Among those who failed to secure guaranteed starts this week were Robby Shelton, Rico Hoey, Jordan Niebrugge, Joaquin Niemann and Kevin Hall.

Els honored with Heisman Humanitarian Award

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 11:41 pm

The annual Heisman Trophy award ceremony is one of the biggest moments in any football season, but there was a touching non-football moment as well on Saturday night as Ernie Els received the Heisman Humanitarian Award.

The award, which had been announced in August, recognized Els' ongoing efforts on behalf of his Els for Autism foundation. Els received the award at Manhattan's PlayStation Theater, where Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy.

Els, 47, founded Els for Autism in 2009 with his wife after their son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism. Their efforts have since flourished into a 26-acre campus in Jupiter, Fla., and the creation of the Els Center for Excellence in 2015.

The Heisman Humanitarian Award has been given out since 2006. Past recipients include NBA center David Robinson, NFL running back Warrick Dunn, soccer star Mia Hamm and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.

A native of South Africa, Els won the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997 and The Open in 2002 and 2012. He has won 19 times on the PGA Tour and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.

Getty Images

Monday finish for Joburg Open; Sharma leads by 4

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 8:57 pm

Rain, lightning and hail pushed the Joburg Open to a Monday finish, with India’s Shubhankar Sharma holding a four-stroke lead with 11 holes to play in Johannesburg.

Play is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. local time.

South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen will have a 3-foot putt for birdie to move within three shots of Sharma wen play resumes at the Randpark Golf Club. Sarma is at 22 under par.

Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland and James Morrison of England are tied for third at 14 under. Pulkkanen has 10 holes remaining, Morrison 11.

The top three finishers who are not already exempt, will get spots in next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.



Stricker, O'Hair team to win QBE Shootout

By Will GrayDecember 10, 2017, 8:55 pm

It may not count in the official tally, but Steve Stricker is once again in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour.

Stricker teamed with Sean O'Hair to win the two-person QBE Shootout, as the duo combined for a better-ball 64 in the final round to finish two shots clear of Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. It's the second win in this event for both men; Stricker won with Jerry Kelly back in 2009 while O'Hair lifted the trophy with Kenny Perry in 2012.

Stricker and O'Hair led wire-to-wire in the 54-hole, unofficial event after posting a 15-under 57 during the opening-round scramble.

"We just really gelled well together," Stricker said. "With his length the first day, getting some clubs into the greens, some short irons for me, we just fed off that first day quite a bit. We felt comfortable with one another."

Full-field scores from the QBE Shootout

Stricker won 12 times during his PGA Tour career, most recently at the 2012 Tournament of Champions. More recently the 50-year-old has been splitting his time on the PGA Tour Champions and captained the U.S. to a victory at the Presidents Cup in October. O'Hair has four official Tour wins, most recently at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.

Pat Perez and Brian Harman finished alone in third, four shots behind Stricker and O'Hair. Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau, the lone co-ed pairing in the 12-team event, finished among a tie for fourth.