The golfing public discovered him at the U.S. Open in June when Gore played his way into Sundays final group with Retief Goosen. Neither broke 80 that day as their hopes for victory went up in smoke.
But Gore left Pinehurst with Mack truck full of confidence. Soon he was winning three straight events on the Nationwide Tour to earn an automatic promotion to the PGA Tour. Then he was setting precedent by winning on the Big Show at the 84 Lumber Classic.
At 31 years of age Gore was golfs new everyman. And the phone of his agent, Ralph Cross, started to ring off the hook. Actually cell phones dont have hooks. And they make all kinds of strange noises.
Gore was making noises with television producers, commercial endorsers and corporate marketers. His asking fee for a Monday outing more than doubled from his going rate of $10,000. Ive been in this business for 20 years,. said Cross, his voice trailing off.
And he had never seen anything like it.
My favorite Gore story is the one that unfolded on the practice range in Vancouver earlier this month. He was hitting balls when a fan called from the other side of the ropes.
Hey, the fan said, that really IS your smile.
Gore walked over and shook the fans hand.
Meanwhile, here are the Gore-y details on Jasons remaining schedule: He is not in the field this week at the Chrysler Classic of Greensboro. But he plans on playing three more Tour events.
His camp believes he still has an outside shot at making the Tour Championship even though he ranks 84th on the money list. One more victory would do it. Who are we to doubt?
Gore already has accepted an invitation to play in the Franklin Templeton Shootout where he will partner with Fred Funk in November. And he is slotted for the ADT Skills Challenge and the Callaway Invitational'all before Thanksgiving.
Cross says they are weighing several other offers and added that Gore plans to get to Maui early for the Mercedes Championships at the beginning of 2006.
I think people are tired of everybody grinding so much out on the Tour, Cross says. They like Jasons smile.
Corporate marketers have quickly become hip to the fact that Gores the guy many of their clients want to draw at the Tuesday night pairings parties.
Jason Gore is the feel good story of the year in golf. One or two more wins and he will become a bona fide needle mover when it comes to ticket sales and TV ratings.
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