Gore Caps Off Wild Week With Victory

By Sports NetworkAugust 7, 2005, 4:00 pm
Nationwide TourOMAHA, Neb. -- If fans of the PGA Tour didn't know Jason Gore's name already, they will now.
Gore rolled in a 5-foot birdie putt on the second playoff hole Sunday to edge Roger Tambellini for the Cox Classic title, winning his third straight start and earning a 'battlefield promotion' to the PGA Tour.
Jason Gore
With his third win of the season, Jason Gore earned the PGA Tour's coveted Battlefield Promotion.
'It's pretty cool, pretty cool,' said a teary-eyed Gore, who shot an 8-under 63 Sunday to end the tournament at 23-under-par 261. 'Six months ago I was ready to hang it up...shows you that golf is a great game.'
Gore, who made a name for himself by playing in the final group on Sunday during this year's U.S. Open, added to his growing 'underdog' legend by firing a 59 in the second round Friday.
It was only the third 59 shot on the Nationwide Tour -- and just the seventh in the history of the four major United States professional golf tours. Fans tend to notice that kind of thing, and from the start of Sunday's final round it was clear Gore, who began the round four strokes behind overnight leader Scott Peterson, was a fan-favorite.
'I felt like I was at the U.S. Open,' Gore said of the response. 'It was incredible.'
The battlefield promotion goes to a Nationwide Tour player who wins three times in a single season. The last player to earn the battlefield was Tom Carter in 2003. Gore was the third player to earn the battlefield by winning the Cox Classic. Chris Smith, in 1997, and Heath Slocum, in 2001, were the first two players to earn the battlefield with a win here.
Tambellini fired a 7-under 64 in his final round to tie Gore at 23-under-par. But after making par from the rough on the first playoff hole, he could only muster par again from 12 feet on the second.
And that wasn't good enough, because Gore had landed inside Tambellini and five feet from the cup after a clutch iron shot from the rough. The crowd roared when he drained his birdie putt, and the 31-year-old was off to the PGA Tour.
'Let's go see what we can do,' said Gore, who earned $112,500 with the win.
John Mallinger, Jon Mills and Peterson finished four strokes off the pace at 19-under-par 265. Peterson shot even-par 71 Sunday and watched his overnight lead slip away to Gore early in the day.
Gore put together a string of eight consecutive birdies from the third to the 10th to quickly take over the final round lead at minus-23.
The streak ended at the par-4 11th, where he left himself with a long birdie putt after flying an 8-iron 20 feet past the hole.
Gore was still 8 under on the day when he arrived at No. 15 needing to go minus-four on his last four holes to shoot 59 again. But he missed a birdie putt there before converting his fifth straight par to remain at 23 under for the tournament.
Things began to change at the 16th, a long par-3 that Gore had played 1-over during the first three rounds. His tee shot found the left side of the green -- a good distance from which to make par, at least -- but Gore missed his birdie putt to the right and then lipped his par putt out to end with a bogey and drop to minus-22.
'One didn't break, and the other broke too much,' said Gore.
Meanwhile, Tambellini was right on the leader's heels.
As Gore found the middle of the fairway with a long drive at the par-5 17th and then pushed a 9-iron right of the green, Tambellini quietly made birdie at the 16th to move into a tie at 22 under.
Gore missed another birdie putt at the 17th after chipping up nicely from the rough. That left him with the tough 440-yard, par-4 18th as another chance to gain some breathing room on Tambellini again.
Players weren't making many birdies at No. 18, including Gore. He collected pars there in his first three rounds.
But after Tambellini reached the 17th green in two and came up short on an eagle putt, Gore lined up for a birdie putt at 18 with a chance to take a brief lead.
He rolled the putt home with momentum to spare, pumping his right fist in the air as the crowd cheered his 23 under score.
Back at the 17th, Tambellini heard the roar. But he showed his composure by sinking a birdie putt to tie Gore heading to the last. Then, at the 18th, he left himself with work for a par, but showed composure again by making the knee-knocker to force the playoff.
Steve LeBrun finished alone in sixth place at 18-under-par 266, while Bill Haas ended one stroke further back for seventh. LeBrun was minus-1 in his final round, one day after holing out from the fairway for eagle at Nos. 17 and 18 to climb into second place.
Related Links:
  • Gore's Scorecard
  • Full Field Scores - Cox Classic
  • Full Coverage - Cox Classic
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    Monty grabs lead entering final round in season-opener

    By Associated PressJanuary 20, 2018, 4:00 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Colin Montgomerie shot a second straight 7-under 65 to take a two-shot lead into the final round of the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    The 54-year-old Scot, a six-time winner on the over-50 tour, didn't miss a fairway on Friday and made five birdies on the back nine to reach 14 under at Hualalai.

    Montgomerie has made 17 birdies through 36 holes and said he will have to continue cashing in on his opportunities.

    ''We know that I've got to score something similar to what I've done – 66, 67, something like that, at least,'' Montgomerie said. ''You know the competition out here is so strong that if you do play away from the pins, you'll get run over. It's tough, but hey, it's great.''

    Full-field scores from the Mitsubishi Electric Championship

    First-round co-leaders Gene Sauers and Jerry Kelly each shot 68 and were 12 under.

    ''I hit the ball really well. You know, all the putts that dropped yesterday didn't drop today,'' Kelly said. ''I was just short and burning edges. It was good putting again. They just didn't go in.''

    David Toms was three shots back after a 66. Woody Austin, Mark Calcavecchia and Doug Garwood each shot 67 and were another shot behind.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was six shots back after a 67.

    The limited-field tournament on Hawaii's Big Island includes last season's winners, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    ''We've enjoyed ourselves thoroughly here,'' Montgomerie said. ''It's just a dramatic spot, isn't it? If you don't like this, well, I'm sorry, take a good look in the mirror, you know?''

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    The missing link: Advice from successful tour pros

    By Phil BlackmarJanuary 20, 2018, 1:24 am

    Today’s topic is significant in that it underscores the direction golf is headed, a direction that has me a little concerned.

    Now, more than ever, it has become the norm for PGA Tour players to put together a team to assist in all aspects of their career. These teams can typically include the player’s swing coach, mental coach, manager, workout specialist, dietician, physical therapist, short-game guru, doctor, accountant, nanny and wife. Though it often concerns me the player may be missing out when others are making decisions for them, that is not the topic.

    I want to talk about what most players seem to be inexplicably leaving off their teams.

    One of the things that separates great players from the rest of the pack – other than talent – is the great player’s ability to routinely stay comfortable and play with focus and clarity in all situations. Though innate to many, this skill is trainable and can be learned. Don’t get too excited, the details of such a plan are too long and more suited for a book than the short confines of this article.

    So, if that aspect of the game is so important, where is the representative on the player’s team who has stood on the 18th tee with everything on the line? Where is the representative on the team who has experienced, over and over, what the player will be experiencing? In other words, where is the successful former tour player on the team?

    You look to tennis and many players have such a person on their team. These teacher/mentors include the likes of Boris Becker, Ivan Lendl, Jimmy Connors and Brad Gilbert. Why is it not the norm in golf?

    Sure, a few players have sought out the advice of Jack Nicklaus, but he’s not part of a team. The teaching ranks also include some former players like Butch Harmon and a few others. But how many teams include a player who has contended in a major, let alone won one or more?

    I’m not here to argue the value and knowledge of all the other coaches who make up a player’s team. But how can the value of a successful tour professional be overlooked? If I’m going to ask someone what I should do in various situations on the course, I would prefer to include the experienced knowledge of players who have been there themselves.

    This leads me to the second part of today’s message. Is there a need for the professional players to mix with professional teachers to deliver the best and most comprehensive teaching philosophy to average players? I feel there is.

    Most lessons are concerned with changing the student’s swing. Often, this is done with little regard for how it feels to the student because the teacher believes the information is correct and more important than the “feels” of the student. “Stick with it until it’s comfortable” is often the message. This directive methodology was put on Twitter for public consumption a short time back:

    On the other hand, the professional player is an expert at making a score and understands the intangible side of the game. The intangible side says: “Mechanics cannot stand alone in making a good player.” The intangible side understands “people feel things differently”; ask Jim Furyk to swing like Dustin Johnson, or vice versa. This means something that looks good to us may not feel right to someone else.

    The intangible side lets us know that mechanics and feels must walk together in order for the player to succeed. From Ben Hogan’s book:

    “What I have learned I have learned by laborious trial and error, watching a good player do something that looked right to me, stumbling across something that felt right to me, experimenting with that something to see if it helped or hindered, adopting it if it helped, refining it sometimes, discarding it if it didn’t help, sometimes discarding it later if it proved undependable in competition, experimenting continually with new ideas and old ideas and all manner of variations until I arrived at a set of fundamentals that appeared to me to be right because they accomplished a very definite purpose, a set of fundamentals which proved to me they were right because they stood up and produced under all kinds of pressure.”

    Hogan beautifully described the learning process that could develop the swings of great players like DJ, Furyk, Lee Trevino, Jordan Spieth, Nicklaus, etc.

    Bob Toski is still teaching. Steve Elkington is helping to bring us the insight of Jackie Burke. Hal Sutton has a beautiful teaching facility outside of Houston. And so on. Just like mechanics and feels, it’s not either-or – the best message comes from both teachers and players.

    Lately, it seems the scale has swung more to one side; let us not forget the value of insights brought to us by the players who have best mastered the game.

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    Woods, Rahm, Rickie, J-Day headline Torrey field

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 20, 2018, 12:47 am

    Tiger Woods is set to make his 2018 debut.

    Woods is still part of the final field list for next week’s Farmers Insurance Open, the headliner of a tournament that includes defending champion Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson and Jason Day.

    In all, 12 of the top 26 players in the world are teeing it up at Torrey Pines.

    Though Woods has won eight times at Torrey Pines, he hasn’t broken 71 in his past seven rounds there and hasn’t played all four rounds since 2013, when he won. Last year he missed the cut after rounds of 76-72, then lasted just one round in Dubai before he withdrew with back spasms.

    After a fourth back surgery, Woods didn’t return to competition until last month’s Hero World Challenge, where he tied for ninth. 

    Woods has committed to play both the Farmers Insurance Open and next month's Genesis Open at Riviera, which benefits his foundation. 

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    Even on 'off' day, Rahm shoots 67 at CareerBuilder

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 20, 2018, 12:36 am

    Jon Rahm didn’t strike the ball as purely Friday as he did during his opening round at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    He still managed a 5-under 67 that put him just one shot off the lead heading into the weekend.

    “I expected myself to go to the range (this morning) and keep flushing everything like I did yesterday,” said Rahm, who shot a career-low 62 at La Quinta on Thursday. “Everything was just a little bit off. It was just one of those days.”

    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    After going bogey-free on Thursday, Rahm mixed four birdies and two bogeys over his opening six holes. He managed to settle down around the turn, then made two birdies on his final three holes to move within one shot of Andrew Landry (65).

    Rahm has missed only five greens through two rounds and sits at 15-under 129. 

    The 23-year-old Spaniard won in Dubai to end the year and opened 2018 with a runner-up finish at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. He needs a top-6 finish or better this week to supplant Jordan Spieth as the No. 2 player in the world.