Gossett's career comes full circle at U.S. Open

By Jason SobelJune 9, 2014, 11:44 pm

PINEHURST, N.C. – David Gossett – yes, that David Gossett – is competing in this week’s U.S. Open, but before we get into the circuitous route he’s taken from U.S. Amateur champion to PGA Tour champion to mini-tour player trying to scratch and claw his way back, let’s examine just how he got here.

He played in an 18-hole local qualifier in Austin, Texas, but lost the chance to advance to a sectional qualifier in a playoff. After that, he had to compete in another four-hole playoff, beating fellow blast from a more recent U.S. Open past in Beau Hossler, just to earn alternate status.

So Gossett traveled to the Memphis, Tenn., sectional just hoping that his number would get called – and it did. He then proceeded to shoot 66-69 and, well, here he is, competing alongside the world’s best players for the first time since withdrawing from his last PGA Tour start more than four years ago.

“I hope to win the golf tournament,” he insists. “I wouldn't throw down a $150 entry fee if I didn't think I could win.”

The journey from sectional qualifier alternate to U.S. Open champion would be a script ripe for Hollywood – and it would inversely mirror that of his career arc until now.

Gossett was all-everything as an amateur. He was a two-time All-America selection at the University of Texas, won the 1999 U.S. Amateur and made the cut at the next year’s Masters Tournament. Upon turning professional, while still a member of the developmental circuit that was then known as the Buy.com Tour, Gossett won the 2001 John Deere Classic to claim his full PGA Tour status.

A star, it appeared, was born.

Except it all went wrong within a few years.

In 2002, he made the cut in 18 of 29 starts with three top-10s. Not bad at all. The next year, he made the cut in 18 of 28 starts with one top-10. Still fine. The year after that, he made the cut in two of 25 starts with no top-10s. And it just went downhill from there.

He missed the second stage of Q-School numerous years in a row. One time he missed advancing by about 10 shots. If there was a low point, that was it.


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“I kind of got my wires crossed trying to get better and improving my mechanics,” he explains. “I felt there for a while I needed to improve my mechanics to do better than 80th and 100th on the money list on the PGA Tour. I wasn't contending in the majors or having a crack at winning these type of tournaments. I changed my method on what I did, and it didn't go so well. There were a couple of years of playing really poorly.”

He states this matter-of-factly. There is no wistful pining for the good ol’ days, no outward annoyance at having to rehash the story of how his career went south.

In fact, if you ask him, Gossett doesn’t think it’s a sad tale at all. He just believes the second act to his career hasn’t been written yet.

“I'm 35 years old,” he says. “When I grew up, when I was 10 years old, players played in their peak at 35 and they were comfortable, more at ease where they were in life, more experienced and they seemed to win these major championships.

“A few years later, a gentleman by the name of Mr. Tiger Woods came by and kind of rewrote

the experience and now there's a different age group playing this year than it was in 1999 or 1989 U.S. Open. So I absolutely know and believe that physically, obviously, I can do it. It's just a function of continuing down the road and doing it.”

He has three kids now, ages 3, 15 months and 5 months. He primarily plays on the Adams Tour these days, sponsored by what he jokingly refers to as “David Gossett and Company.”

After all these years, after all the frustration and hardship, he still has a sense of humor about it.

“I keep telling my wife the private plane is in the shop,” he says with a smile. “Can't find the mechanic.”

Maybe it’s like the old saying: Gotta keep laughing to avoid crying.

If Gossett has shed tears along the way, they’ve long since dried up. He isn’t here at Pinehurst to rekindle the past, but instead to keep on plugging away toward the future.

The guy who was once a can’t-miss kid isn’t ready to concede that he’s missed. He’s still trying to prove that it’s a work in progress.

“I don’t want to quit,” he says. “I don’t to want to give up on my dream. This is what I want to do. So I’m going to keep after it.”

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What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

The Ryder Cup topped his list.

Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

“Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”



McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

“The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

More bulletin board material, too.

Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

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Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

“I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.