Gore recalls 14-over 84 on Sunday at 2005 U.S. Open

By Rex HoggardJune 15, 2014, 5:00 pm

PINEHURST, N.C. – Jason Gore was spending Father’s Day in an Albuquerque, N.M., hotel, a stopping off point on a drive from his home in Los Angeles to Wichita, Kan., site of next week’s Air Capital Classic on the Web.com Tour.

Pack up the kids, a quick trip to Starbucks and the Gore family would be on their way, but not before a brief detour back to his first Father’s Day as a father in 2005.

Nine years ago, Gore spent this Sunday holed up in his hotel room at Pine Needles avoiding the television at all cost and trying desperately to take a nap.

“The hardest part about Sunday in 2005 was the 3:30 (p.m.) tee time,” recalled Gore, who began the final round of the 105th U.S. Open tied for second place and just three strokes behind pacesetter Retief Goosen.

“You kind of wanted to watch the telecast to see how it was playing but you didn’t want to watch because of everything that was going on and I wasn’t really comfortable with what was going on.”

What was going on was magical.

Five years removed from a solid college career at Pepperdine, Gore was still making his bones as a professional when he qualified for the ’05 Open, which would be just his second major start.

He opened with rounds of 71-67-72 to land himself a spot in Sunday’s final two-ball at his national championship. It was a made-for-television event and the inevitable media frenzy was almost as concerning as the thick rough that used to ring the No. 2 course at Pinehurst.

“I don’t know what I was expecting. That was the hardest part. Trying to find something to do but doing nothing,” he laughed.

The Cinderella story began to lose steam when Gore played his first three holes in 3 over par. It was the same score Goosen posted over his first three and the two would go on to shoot a combined 25 over par.

Gore would tie for 49th place, but it would be just the beginning of his dream summer.

U.S. Open: Articles, videos and photos

U.S. Open full-field scores

He would win three of his next four starts on the Web.com Tour to earn a promotion to the PGA Tour and in his fourth start as a card-carrying member in the big leagues he won the 84 Lumber Classic.

The player that was referred to by one scribe as “some Joe Bagadivots” had arrived, and to Gore it couldn’t have been possible without all that Pinehurst pain.

“I think I learned so much more about myself at that point,” Gore figured. “Going into it I knew I was never going to be faced with that again. I’d seen the (worst), even if I played in the final group at the U.S. Open again. I was in the final group a couple more times that summer and that was easy.”

The whirlwind of that final round has faded with time for Gore. He remembers sleeping well the night before, eating breakfast and the media maelstrom that awaited him.

“My wife asked me if I remembered when we walked out of the hotel and there were flash bulbs everywhere,” he recalled. “I was like, ‘Do I look OK?’”

As Gore was preparing to get back on the road to Wichita the serendipity of Sunday’s leaderboard wasn’t lost on him. Erik Compton, the two-time heart transplant recipient who will begin the final turn at Pinehurst tied for second and five shots back, is this championship’s feel-good story.

“At least Compton is on Tour, he’s done well. He’s had his card several times,” Gore said. “I kind of came out as an 8 handicap coming into that week.”

Gore’s wife, Megan, has a much more vivid memory from that eventful final round, recalling with clarity every one of her husband’s 84 shots and a crowd that never gave up on the ultimate everyman.

“For me personally it was the roar of the crowd and how many people were still out there. The crowds didn’t go away,” Megan Gore said. “I went to the tallest person I could find and told him to narrate for us.”

Although nine years dull memories as well as scars, Gore does recall walking off the 16th green after his third consecutive bogey when Goosen, one of the circuit’s more aloof types, asked a seemingly random question.

“He asked if I ever played cricket? I said no but knew a little bit about the game,” Gore recalled. “He said, ‘We’d be playing a heck of a game of cricket as many overs as we have going.’ ”

Gore responded with a challenge to play a $5 match over the final two holes. “He lost it. It may have been the first time I’d ever seen him laugh,” Gore said.

Gore lost that match and the U.S. Open, but gained so much more – the confidence to go on and have one of the most dominant summers by a player not named Tiger Woods and the respect of golf fans everywhere.

As Gore walked off the 18th green, battered and bruised by Pinehurst, he was greeted by Megan and, at the time, his 8-month-old son, Jaxon. She told him she was proud of him.

“I remember walking off afterward and thinking that was awesome. We were disappointed, but it was a great week,” she said.

There is always a disconnect between results and reality in sport. Someone will likely have a “Gore” Sunday at Pinehurst today, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it was a bad day.

Getty Images

Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.

Rose wins; Aphibarnrat earns Masters bid in Indonesia

By Will GrayDecember 17, 2017, 1:59 pm

Justin Rose continued his recent run of dominance in Indonesia, while Kiradech Aphibarnrat snagged a Masters invite with some 72nd-hole dramatics.

Rose cruised to an eight-shot victory at the Indonesian Masters, carding bookend rounds of 10-under 62 that featured a brief run at a 59 during the final round. The Englishman was the highest-ranked player in the field and he led wire-to-wire, with Thailand's Phachara Khongwatmai finishing second.

Rose closes out the year as perhaps the hottest player in the world, with top-10 finishes in each of his final 10 worldwide starts. That stretch includes three victories, as Rose also won the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open. He hasn't finished outside the top 10 in a tournament since missing the cut at the PGA Championship.

Meanwhile, it took until the final hole of the final tournament of 2017 for Aphibarnrat to secure a return to the Masters. The Thai entered the week ranked No. 56 in the world, with the top 50 in the year-end world rankings earning invites to Augusta National. Needing an eagle on the 72nd hole, Aphibarnrat got just that to snag solo fifth place.

It means that he is projected to end the year ranked No. 49, while Japan's Yusaku Miyazato - who started the week ranked No. 58 and finished alone in fourth - is projected to finish No. 50. Aphibarnrat finished T-15 in his Masters debut in 2016, while Miyazato will make his first appearance in the spring.

The results in Indonesia mean that American Peter Uihlein and South Africa's Dylan Frittelli are projected to barely miss the year-end, top-50 cutoff. Their options for Masters qualification will include winning a full-point PGA Tour event in early 2018 or cracking the top 50 by the final March 25 cutoff.

Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.

Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.

''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''

They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.

''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''

Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.

''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''

Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.

Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.

Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.

Getty Images

Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.