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
  • Getty Images

    Suspended Hensby offers details on missed drug test

    By Will GrayDecember 12, 2017, 11:30 pm

    One day after receiving a one-year suspension from the PGA Tour for failing to provide a sample for a drug test, Mark Hensby offered details on the events that led to his missed test in October.

    Hensby, 46, released a statement explaining that the test in question came after the opening round of the Sanderson Farms Championship, where the Aussie opened with a 78. Frustrated about his play, Hensby said he was prepared to give a blood sample but was then informed that the test would be urine, not blood.

    "I had just urinated on the eighth hole, my 17th hole that day, and knew that I was probably unable to complete the urine test for at least a couple more hours," Hensby said. "I told this gentleman that I would complete the test in the morning prior to my early morning tee time. Another gentleman nearby told me that 'they have no authority to require me to stay.' Thus, I left."

    Hensby explained that he subsequently received multiple calls and texts from PGA Tour officials inquiring as to why he left without providing a sample and requesting that he return to the course.

    "I showed poor judgment in not responding," said Hensby, who was subsequently disqualified from the tournament.

    Hensby won the 2004 John Deere Classic, but he has missed six cuts in seven PGA Tour starts over the last two years. He will not be eligible to return to the Tour until Oct. 26, 2018.

    "Again, I made a terrible decision to not stay around that evening to take the urine test," Hensby said. "Obviously in hindsight I should have been more patient, more rational and taken the test. Call me stupid, but don't call me a cheater. I love the game. I love the integrity that it represents, and I would never compromise the values and qualities that the game deserves."

    Getty Images

    Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 4:12 pm

    Jason Day’s wife revealed on social media that the couple had a miscarriage last month.

    Ellie Day, who announced her pregnancy on Nov. 4, posted an emotional note on Instagram that she lost the baby on Thanksgiving.

    “I found out the baby had no heartbeat anymore. I was devastated,” she wrote. “I snuck out the back door of my doctor, a hot, sobbing, mascara-covered mess. Two and a half weeks went by witih me battling my heart and brain about what was happening in my body, wondering why this wouldn’t just be over.”

    The Days, who have two children, Dash and Lucy, decided to go public to help others who have suffered similar heartbreak.

    “I hope you know you aren’t alone and I hope you feel God wrap his arms around you when you feel the depths of sorrow and loss,” she wrote.  

    Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 1:00 pm

    This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.

    The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.

    Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.

    The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.


    Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


    A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.

    And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

    The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.


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    Man of the people


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    Article: Sergio, Angela get married; Kenny G plays reception

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    Victory at Valderrama


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    Getty Images

    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 12:30 pm