Gore Virtual Lock for Tour Card With Win


BOISE, Idaho -- Jason Gore struggled to a final-round 73, but claimed the Buy.Ccom Boise Open, his second win in as many weeks. He finished at 11-under 273, two strokes clear of Barry Cheesman and Emlyn Aubrey at the Hillcrest Country Club.
Gore, who won last week at the Oregon Classic, becomes the first back-to-back winner on the Buy.Com Tour since Pat Bates accomplished the feat in 2001 by winning the final two events of the 2001 season - the Shreveport Open and the Buy.Com Tour Championship. Gore is just the eighth player in the history of the Buy.Com Tour to post consecutive victories.
Gore had taken a three-shot lead into Sunday's final round. Cheesman and Aubrey began the day five strokes behind. Patrick Moore and Greg Gregory, who had been tied for second place entering Sunday, struggled to a 74 and 75, respectively.
Gore, who earned his third career victory on the Buy.Com tour, opened his round with a birdie at the first. Things quickly went downhill from there. He bogeyed the fifth, sixth and seventh and made the turn 2-over par.
'The golf course was absolutely brutal out there today,' said Gore. 'The course was ten times harder today than it was the rest of the week. It was a battle just like last week.'
Gore held on to win as he shot an even-par 35 on the back-nine. After he bogeyed the par-4 14th, Gore's lead was just one over Aubrey. However, Gore regained a two-stroke lead when he birdied the par-5 16th.
'Fortunately, I made that putt on 16 and got a little breathing room,' Gore said. 'The putt on No. 16 was the golf tournament. I feel like I have accomplished something that I think that's more important than any pay check could be.'
Gore is referring to the fact that he has virtually guaranteed himself of earning his PGA Tour card for next season. He has risen to No. 4 on the Buy.Com money list with the win, and the top 15 on this list earn their PGA Tour card for next season.
'It's hard to believe that two short weeks ago I was looking for sponsors,' said Gore, who has jumped 58 spots on the money list in the past two weeks. 'It is amazing how quickly things have turned around for me. Now I can sit back and watch the PGA Tour Qualifying School on television.'
With the win, Gore joins Moore, Arron Oberholser and Cliff Kresge as two-time winners on the Buy.Com Tour this season. If one of these four were to win later this season and become a three-time winner, that person would get the automatic Battlefield Promotion to the PGA Tour. Four players have previously gained this promotion -- Chris Smith in 1997 and Heath Slocum, Chad Campbell and Pat Bates in 2001.
Gavin Coles finished alone in fourth place at 8-under 276. D.J. Brigman, Eric Meeks and Moore tied for fifth at minus-7.
Kresge, who finished with an even par 71, ended the tournament at 1-under 283. Oberholser tied for 46th place at 1-over par.

Final scores from the Boise Open