Crowd Favorite Gore Goes Down in Flames

By Associated PressJune 19, 2005, 4:00 pm
PINEHURST, N.C. -- Jason Gore arrived at Pinehurst No. 2 on Sunday with a wide grin and hopes of completing an improbable push for the U.S. Open championship.
Eighteen holes later, he looked beaten down by an unforgiving course.
Gore ran out of magic in the final round, stumbling to a 14-over 84 that dropped him from second place to tied for 49th on the leaderboard. He finished at 14-over 294, ending with a double-bogey tap-in for the final stroke of this year's Open and earning $20,275 - just $6,604 less than he's made in seven tournaments on the Nationwide Tour this year.
It was a disappointing end for the husky guy with everyman looks and a happy-go-lucky manner who quickly became the fan favorite.
'I fought all the way and just couldn't stop the bleeding,' Gore said.
Gore - the 818th-ranked player in the world who finished tied for second in a regional qualifier to get here - got plenty of attention all weekend with solid golf and quick wit.
He told stories about thieves breaking into his car during the drive here to steal his stereo and his underwear. He called himself a 'cheeseball' for excitedly pointing at a putt as it dropped in for a birdie on No. 18 Saturday.
He even had a story of briefly leading the U.S. Open in his only other appearance, holing a wedge for birdie on the first hole in 1998. He went on to miss the cut.
This time, Gore stayed near the top of the leaderboard a lot longer. But a bad start on Sunday kept getting worse, sending him crashing back to reality.
Starting with a bogey on the par-4 second hole, he finished the round with six bogeys, three double-bogeys, a triple-bogey and just one birdie. He had just five bogeys and two double-bogeys in the first three rounds combined.
Playing with third-round leader Retief Goosen - who suffered his own meltdown with a round of 81 - Gore hit just four of 14 fairways, eight of 18 greens and had 33 putts.
'(Goosen) asked me if I knew the game cricket, because when you score runs they're called overs, and that was the only thing we were resembling,' Gore said.
Tiger Woods, who played junior golf with Gore, said the experience - though frustrating - will only help.
'These conditions, look what they did to some of the best players in the world today,' said Woods, who finished second with a 2-over 282. 'These are some of the most difficult conditions you'll ever see in the U.S. Open, and he's never been there and it adds to it.
'But now he's been there. He's learned from it, and I'm sure he'll be a lot better for it.'
Gore's challenge now is to get back to the U.S. Open next year and build on his time in the spotlight.
'It was a heck of a week,' Gore said. 'I had a wonderful time. I feel very strongly I'll be back. Stuff like this happens in the U.S. Open and I'll be a better player because of it.'
Related links:
  • Leaderboard - 105th U.S. Open
  • Full Coverage - 105th U.S. Open

    Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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    Johnson begins Open week as 12/1 betting favorite

    By Will GrayJuly 16, 2018, 5:15 pm

    Dustin Johnson heads into The Open as the top-ranked player in the world, and he's also an understandable betting favorite as he looks to win a second career major.

    Johnson has not played since the U.S. Open, where he led by four shots at the halfway point and eventually finished third. He has three top-10 finishes in nine Open appearances, notably a T-2 finish at Royal St. George's in 2011.

    Johnson opened as a 12/1 favorite when the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook first published odds for Carnoustie after the U.S. Open, and he remains at that number with the first round just three days away.

    Here's a look at the latest odds on some of the other top contenders, according to the Westgate:

    12/1: Dustin Johnson

    16/1: Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Justin Rose

    20/1: Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Tommy Fleetwood, Brooks Koepka, Jon Rahm

    25/1: Jason Day, Henrik Stenson, Tiger Woods

    30/1: Sergio Garcia, Francesco Molinari, Paul Casey, Alex Noren, Patrick Reed

    40/1: Hideki Matsuyama, Marc Leishman, Branden Grace, Tyrrell Hatton

    50/1: Phil Mickelson, Ian Poulter, Matthew Fitzpatrick

    60/1: Russell Knox, Louis Oosthuizen, Matt Kuchar, Bryson DeChambeau, Zach Johnson, Tony Finau, Bubba Watson

    80/1: Lee Westwood, Adam Scott, Patrick Cantlay, Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Thomas Pieters, Xander Schauffele

    100/1: Shane Lowry, Webb Simpson, Brandt Snedeker, Ryan Fox, Thorbjorn Olesen

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    Woods needs top-10 at Open to qualify for WGC

    By Will GrayJuly 16, 2018, 4:34 pm

    If Tiger Woods is going to qualify for the final WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club, he'll need to do something he hasn't done in five years this week at The Open.

    Woods has won eight times at Firestone, including his most recent PGA Tour victory in 2013, and has openly stated that he would like to qualify for the no-cut event in Akron before it shifts to Memphis next year. But in order to do so, Woods will need to move into the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking after this week's event at Carnoustie.

    Woods is currently ranked No. 71 in the world, down two spots from last week, and based on projections it means that he'll need to finish no worse than a tie for eighth to have a chance of cracking the top 50. Woods' last top-10 finish at a major came at the 2013 Open at Muirfield, where he tied for sixth.

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    There are actually two OWGR cutoffs for the Bridgestone, July 23 and July 30. That means that Woods could theoretically still add a start at next week's RBC Canadian Open to chase a spot in the top 50, but he has said on multiple occasions that this week will be his last start of the month. The WGC-Bridgestone Invitational will be played Aug. 2-5.

    There wasn't much movement in the world rankings last week, with the top 10 staying the same heading into the season's third major. Dustin Johnson remains world No. 1, followed by Justin Thomas, Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm. Defending Open champ Jordan Spieth is ranked sixth, with Rickie Fowler, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and Tommy Fleetwood rounding out the top 10.

    Despite taking the week off, Sweden's Alex Noren moved up three spots from No. 14 to No. 11, passing Patrick Reed, Bubba Watson and Paul Casey.

    John Deere Classic champ Michael Kim went from No. 473 to No. 215 in the latest rankings, while South African Brandon Stone jumped from 371st to 110th with his win at the Scottish Open.

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    Spieth takes familiar break ahead of Open defense

    By Rex HoggardJuly 16, 2018, 3:50 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – As his title chances seemed to be slipping away during the final round of last year’s Open Championship, Jordan Spieth’s caddie took a moment to remind him who he was.

    Following a bogey at No. 13, Michael Greller referenced a recent vacation he’d taken to Mexico where he’d spent time with Michael Phelps and Michael Jordan and why he deserved to be among that group of singular athletes.

    Spieth, who won last year’s Open, decided to continue the tradition, spending time in Cabo again before this week’s championship.

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    “I kind of went through the same schedule,” Spieth said on Monday at Carnoustie. “It was nice to have a little vacation.”

    Spieth hasn’t played since the Travelers Championship; instead he attended the Special Olympics USA Games earlier this month in Seattle with his sister. It was Spieth’s first time back to the Pacific Northwest since he won the 2015 U.S. Open.

    “I went out to Chambers Bay with [Greller],” Spieth said. “We kind of walked down the 18th hole. It was cool reliving those memories.”

    But most of all Spieth said he needed a break after a particularly tough season.

    “I had the itch to get back to it after a couple weeks of not really working,” he said. “It was nice to kind of have that itch to get back.”