A Guy Who Just Lets It Be

By George WhiteSeptember 20, 2005, 4:00 pm
It was the money ' once again. This was in May, and he had made less than $2,000 for the year. Time to start some serious fretting.
His house in Southern California doesnt come cheaply, you know. Jason Gores mind was whirring as he made another trip to the grocery store ' and incidentally, didnt his six-month-old baby need formula again? He sighed and was seriously thinking about getting a 9-to-5, a real job where the income is guaranteed every Friday.
Lo and behold, the world was about to go topsy-turvy for Jason Gore.
First of all, there was the U.S. Open in June, where he played alongside Retief Goosen in the final pairing Sunday. He played horribly that particular day ' so did Goosen ' but both got a ton of respect for the way they carried themselves on a day when neither could break 80. Then Gore went back to the Nationwide Tour and won three events ' in succession, no less - and suddenly leaped to the big tour.
Now the big guy is a PGA Tour winner. Last weekend he hung tough to win the 84 Lumber Classic. With a first-place check of $792,000 in his pocket, he wont have to sweat out the mortgage for a long, long while. And baby? Well, baby could be slurping down caviar along with his formula today.
Jason doesnt really know if he is dreaming. He realizes that he has become something of a folk hero with golf fans across America, what with his anti-athlete build and his all-around good-guy personality. What you see here is everymans blueprint for success - the guy-next-door works his rear off, and that work finally is paying dividends. Basically, you have to stop the complaining and start the sweating.
You know, sometimes you just have to quit whining and pick yourself up and move on, said Gore. And that's kind of what I did - with the help of some loyal and faithful right foots to the butt.
That was just kind of what it was - just shake yourself off and keep moving. I think that was a big thing really about the Open. I didn't sit back and go back to the room and cry and woe-is-me kind of thing. Just, Hey, that was pretty cool. That was really about it.
He realizes that yesterday is yesterday and tomorrow is tomorrow
The best players in the world have often said that you can never be satisfied. I mean, you can be happy with what you've done, but you can't be satisfied with what you're doing. And you just have to keep working hard and continue to strive to be the best ... I think that's what I'm going to try to do, put it in the pocket and keep on going.
Gore is 31 now, and nearly a decade of playing professional golf has made him consider life from a very realistic viewpoint. The first three days of the U.S. Open were great, but he says he didnt really have a chance ' he had an opportunity. And it was the opportunity to learn that was important as the win, not just the opportunity to win.
It was a great learning experience, he said, and I took that learning experience back to the Nationwide Tour and had a little bit of success. It was a wonderful day, and I don't think I'd like to change it. But you can't, and you take what you can out of it and go from there.
And it was an A-1 lesson to get to see Goosen handle the horrors of the last day. He says all he had to do was look at Goosen ' a man who had won two U.S. Opens but who today was in the throes of shooting an 81.
He's a good dude, a great guy, said Gore of his playing partner that day. To be able to walk off the 18th green - I mean, all this stuff even happening, he was acting like a champion. He is a champion, and he's a gentleman.
I think that was really important for me to see, too, just to see how really solid this guy was and how it really didn't matter. It was just a golf tournament. It might have been the U.S. Open, but we're going to wake up the next day and nobody is going to lose a finger. It was pretty cool to see a true champion act like that.
Lesson learned. An opportunity which wasnt wasted, even if a chance for a win was.
Like I said before, we get to play a game for a living, he said. And that's really my perspective on what it comes down to, what really matters.
Gore told the story of sitting down once with an analyst friend of his and hearing an interesting yarn. It was about Fred Astaire, and how he would put chalk down on the sidewalk and start practicing his moves. And when the music began, he just danced, said Jason. That's kind of the way it is.
You can go out on the range, beat balls, work on your golf swing, but once you get to the first tee, just go dance. And that's really kind of what it was. I just kind of forgot about where my right arm needs to be or where my hand needs to be, just go have a good time, hit it, chase it and find it and hit it again.
And he told a story about a letter he had received following the Open, one written to him by a gentleman who watched the final round with a father who was dying of cancer. 'Keep watching this kid, Gore remembers the father saying.
It was like a tender moment, one of their last moments together. It's a father-son.
It's pretty well documented how my relationship with my dad was, and that was pretty touching to know that it really wasn't just me - it was just somebody in that position being the all-American story of Mr. Underdog and fighting and clawing his way up to do that. It was really pretty cool to know that I was involved in such a wonderful moment - or a tragic moment, if you want to look at it that way. That was pretty special.
Jason Gore may not be the second coming of Ben Hogan. But he is the first coming of Jason Gore. And that, it seems, is more than sufficient.
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Spieth, Thomas headline winter break trip to Cabo

By Grill Room TeamDecember 15, 2017, 1:05 am

Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Really good at golf. Really good at vacationing.

With #SB2K18 still months away, Thomas and Spieth headlined a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, and this will shock you but it looks like they had a great time.

Spring break veteran Smylie Kaufman joined the party, as did Thomas' roommate, Tom Lovelady, who continued his shirtless trend.

The gang played all the hits, including shoeless golf in baketball jerseys and late nights with Casamigos tequila.

Image via tom.lovelady on Instagram.

In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.

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Awards season: Handing out the 2017 Rexys

By Rex HoggardDecember 14, 2017, 7:00 pm

After careful consideration and an exhaustive review of 2017 we present The Rexys, a wildly incomplete and arbitrary line up following one of the most eventful years in golf.

 There will be omissions – just keep your calls, concerns and even e-mails to yourself. We appreciate your patronage, but not your feedback.

It’s Not You, It’s Me Award. You know the deal: You can’t be a part of two until you’re a better one; but on this front it’s really just a desire to find a better two.

It was a tough year for caddies, and not just any caddies. In June, Phil Mickelson split with longtime bagman Jim “Bones” Mackay. Both player and caddie cited the need for “change,” but the move reverberated throughout the game.

“The fairytale is over,” mused one caddie when told of the high-profile split.

In the wake of the Lefty/Bones break, Rory McIlroy split with his caddie J.P Fitzgerald, and Jason Day replaced looper/swing coach Colin Swatton on his bag. It all proves yet again that there are only two kinds of caddies, those who have been fired and those who are about to be fired.

Run for the Rose Cup. Sergio Garcia got the green jacket, a lifetime exemption to the game’s most coveted member-member and a long-awaited major, but Justin Rose took home the slightly less prestigious “Rose Cup.”

Following a frenzied afternoon at Augusta National in April, Rose lost to Garcia on the first playoff hole, but he won so much more with his honesty and class.

“You're going to win majors and you're going to lose majors, but you've got to be willing to lose them,” Rose figured following the final round. “You've got to put yourself out there. You've got to hit the top of the leaderboard. There's a lot of pressure out there and if you're not willing to enjoy it, then you're not ready to win these tournaments. I loved it out there.”

Few have made losing look so dignified and fewer still are as easy to root for.

Half-Empty Cup. It was the perfect setting, with sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline and the promise of the Tristate masses descending on this fall’s Presidents Cup.

If only all those rowdy New Yorkers had something to cheer.

For the sixth time in the last seven matches, the U.S. team rolled to a victory of at least three points. This particular edition was even in danger of ending on Saturday afternoon thanks to a particularly dominant performance by a young American squad led by Steve Stricker.

Officials spoke of the purity of the competition and the attention the ’17 cup generated, but however you spin the 19-11 rout, this cup is half empty.

Enigma Award. The actual hardware is simply an oversized question mark and was sent directly to Tiger Woods’ South Florida compound following the most curious of seasons.

While it’s become customary in recent years to consider the uncertain path that awaits the 14-time major winner, this most recent calendar brought an entirely new collection of questions following fusion surgery on his lower back in April, his arrest for DUI on Memorial Day and, finally, a glimmer of hope born from his tie for ninth at the Hero World Challenge earlier this month.

When will he play again? Can he compete against the current generation of world-beaters? Can his body withstand the rigors of a full PGA Tour schedule? Should Jim Furyk make him a captain’s pick now or wait to see if he should be driving a vice captain’s golf cart instead?

Little is certain when it comes to Woods, and the over-sized question mark goes to ... the guy in red and black.

After Further Review Chalice. In April, Lexi Thompson endured a heartbreaking loss at the ANA Inspiration, the byproduct of a surreal ruling that arrived a day late via a viewer e-mail and cost the would-be winner a major championship.

The entire event was so unsavory that the USGA and R&A made not one but two alterations to the rules and created a “working group” to avoid similar snafus in the future.

That working group – it turns out the U.S. Ryder Cup team has some sort of copyright on “task force” – initially issued a decision that introduced a “reasonable judgment” and a “naked eye” standard to video reviews, and last week the rule makers kept the changes coming.

The new protocols on video review will now include an official to monitor tournament broadcasts and ended the practice of allowing fans to call in, or in this case e-mail, possible infractions to officials. The USGA and R&A also eliminated the two-stroke penalty for players who sign incorrect scorecards when the player is unaware of the penalty.

While all this might be a step in the right direction, it does nothing to change Thompson’s fate. The AFR Chalice won’t change the harsh reality, but at least it will serve as a reminder of how she helped altered the rulemaking landscape.

Nothing Runs Like a Deere Award. Nothing gets fans fired up like officials turning fields of fescue rough into hay on the eve of a major championship, and the USGA’s decision to do some 11th-hour trimming at Erin Hills in June certainly caught many by surprise.

Officials said the nip/tuck on four holes was in reaction to a particularly foreboding forecast that never materialized, and the maintenance drew the ire of some players.

“We have 60 yards from left line to right line,” Rory McIlroy said. “You’ve got 156 of the best players in the world here; if we can’t hit it within that avenue, you might as well pack your bags and go home.”

The record low scoring at the U.S. Open – winner Brooks Koepka finished with a 16-under total – didn’t help ease the fervor and had some questioning whether the softer side of the USGA has gone a bit too far?

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Podcast: Daly takes big pride in 'Little John'

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 14, 2017, 5:28 pm

John Daly is a two-time major champion, but the newest trophy in his household belongs to someone else.

That’s because Daly’s son, 14-year-old Little John “LJ” Daly, rallied to capture an IJGT junior golf event over the weekend. The younger Daly birdied the first extra hole to win a five-person playoff at Harbour Town Golf Links, site of the PGA Tour’s RBC Heritage.

Daly recently sat down for a Golf Channel podcast to describe what it’s like to cheer for his son and PNC Father-Son Challenge partner, share the unique challenge presented by the upcoming Diamond Resorts Invitational and reflect on some of the notable highs of a career that has now spanned more than 25 years.

Sneds starts slowly in Masters invite bid

By Will GrayDecember 14, 2017, 4:22 pm

Brandt Snedeker flew halfway around the world in search of a Masters invite, but after one round of the Indonesian Masters it appears he'll likely return home empty-handed.

Snedeker made only two birdies during his opening round in Indonesia, shooting an even-par 72 that left him in a tie for 77th and 10 shots behind leader Justin Rose. This is the final OWGR-rated event of 2017, and as a result it has drawn several notable entrants, including Snedeker, who hope to crack the top 50 in the world rankings by year's end to secure a trip to Augusta National.

Full-field scores from the Indonesian Masters

Snedeker started the year ranked No. 28, but after missing five months because of injury he entered the week ranked No. 51 and is projected to slip even further by the end of the month. As a result, he likely needs a top-3 finish in order to secure a return to the Masters, which he has missed only once since 2007.

World No. 55 Dylan Frittelli also struggled, shooting a 4-over 76 in the opening round, while No. 56 Kiradech Aphibarnrat is tied for 14th at 4 under. Yusaku Miyazato, currently 58th in the world, is tied for ninth and five shots behind Rose.

Should Snedeker and the other hopefuls fail to crack the top 50 by the end of the year, two paths to the Masters remain: win a full-point event on the PGA Tour in early 2018 or be inside the top 50 in the world rankings when the final cutoff is made on March 25.