A Guy Who Just Lets It Be

By George WhiteSeptember 20, 2005, 4:00 pm
It was the money ' once again. This was in May, and he had made less than $2,000 for the year. Time to start some serious fretting.
His house in Southern California doesnt come cheaply, you know. Jason Gores mind was whirring as he made another trip to the grocery store ' and incidentally, didnt his six-month-old baby need formula again? He sighed and was seriously thinking about getting a 9-to-5, a real job where the income is guaranteed every Friday.
Lo and behold, the world was about to go topsy-turvy for Jason Gore.
First of all, there was the U.S. Open in June, where he played alongside Retief Goosen in the final pairing Sunday. He played horribly that particular day ' so did Goosen ' but both got a ton of respect for the way they carried themselves on a day when neither could break 80. Then Gore went back to the Nationwide Tour and won three events ' in succession, no less - and suddenly leaped to the big tour.
Now the big guy is a PGA Tour winner. Last weekend he hung tough to win the 84 Lumber Classic. With a first-place check of $792,000 in his pocket, he wont have to sweat out the mortgage for a long, long while. And baby? Well, baby could be slurping down caviar along with his formula today.
Jason doesnt really know if he is dreaming. He realizes that he has become something of a folk hero with golf fans across America, what with his anti-athlete build and his all-around good-guy personality. What you see here is everymans blueprint for success - the guy-next-door works his rear off, and that work finally is paying dividends. Basically, you have to stop the complaining and start the sweating.
You know, sometimes you just have to quit whining and pick yourself up and move on, said Gore. And that's kind of what I did - with the help of some loyal and faithful right foots to the butt.
That was just kind of what it was - just shake yourself off and keep moving. I think that was a big thing really about the Open. I didn't sit back and go back to the room and cry and woe-is-me kind of thing. Just, Hey, that was pretty cool. That was really about it.
He realizes that yesterday is yesterday and tomorrow is tomorrow
The best players in the world have often said that you can never be satisfied. I mean, you can be happy with what you've done, but you can't be satisfied with what you're doing. And you just have to keep working hard and continue to strive to be the best ... I think that's what I'm going to try to do, put it in the pocket and keep on going.
Gore is 31 now, and nearly a decade of playing professional golf has made him consider life from a very realistic viewpoint. The first three days of the U.S. Open were great, but he says he didnt really have a chance ' he had an opportunity. And it was the opportunity to learn that was important as the win, not just the opportunity to win.
It was a great learning experience, he said, and I took that learning experience back to the Nationwide Tour and had a little bit of success. It was a wonderful day, and I don't think I'd like to change it. But you can't, and you take what you can out of it and go from there.
And it was an A-1 lesson to get to see Goosen handle the horrors of the last day. He says all he had to do was look at Goosen ' a man who had won two U.S. Opens but who today was in the throes of shooting an 81.
He's a good dude, a great guy, said Gore of his playing partner that day. To be able to walk off the 18th green - I mean, all this stuff even happening, he was acting like a champion. He is a champion, and he's a gentleman.
I think that was really important for me to see, too, just to see how really solid this guy was and how it really didn't matter. It was just a golf tournament. It might have been the U.S. Open, but we're going to wake up the next day and nobody is going to lose a finger. It was pretty cool to see a true champion act like that.
Lesson learned. An opportunity which wasnt wasted, even if a chance for a win was.
Like I said before, we get to play a game for a living, he said. And that's really my perspective on what it comes down to, what really matters.
Gore told the story of sitting down once with an analyst friend of his and hearing an interesting yarn. It was about Fred Astaire, and how he would put chalk down on the sidewalk and start practicing his moves. And when the music began, he just danced, said Jason. That's kind of the way it is.
You can go out on the range, beat balls, work on your golf swing, but once you get to the first tee, just go dance. And that's really kind of what it was. I just kind of forgot about where my right arm needs to be or where my hand needs to be, just go have a good time, hit it, chase it and find it and hit it again.
And he told a story about a letter he had received following the Open, one written to him by a gentleman who watched the final round with a father who was dying of cancer. 'Keep watching this kid, Gore remembers the father saying.
It was like a tender moment, one of their last moments together. It's a father-son.
It's pretty well documented how my relationship with my dad was, and that was pretty touching to know that it really wasn't just me - it was just somebody in that position being the all-American story of Mr. Underdog and fighting and clawing his way up to do that. It was really pretty cool to know that I was involved in such a wonderful moment - or a tragic moment, if you want to look at it that way. That was pretty special.
Jason Gore may not be the second coming of Ben Hogan. But he is the first coming of Jason Gore. And that, it seems, is more than sufficient.
Email your thoughts to George White
Getty Images

McIlroy 'committed to everything ... ran out of holes'

By Jay CoffinJuly 22, 2018, 7:08 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Rory McIlroy summed it up: “I don’t really feel like it’s a defeat. I feel like it’s a good week.”

McIlroy, in search of his fifth major, tied for the lead at The Open late on Sunday at Carnoustie when he made eagle on the par-5 14th hole. An hour later, he had made five consecutive pars to close out a 1-under 70 and tie for second place with Justin Rose, Kevin Kisner and Xander Schauffele.

That group ended two shots behind winner Francesco Molinari. McIlroy thought it was realistic to squeeze one more shot out of his round, but he never though it was possible to squeeze out two.

“I committed to everything,” he said. “I hit the shots when I needed to. I made good swings on 17 and on 18. I just ran out of holes.”

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

McIlroy hasn’t played poorly this year, but this hasn't been a year that would rank as a total success. He took the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March and collected a second-place finish at the BMW PGA Championship. He had a legitimate chance to win the Masters before a terrible Sunday round, and then missed the cut at the U.S. Open last month at Shinnecock Hills.

Sunday at Carnoustie, McIlroy bogeyed two of his first five holes and quickly became an afterthought. When others faltered, McIlroy birdies Nos. 9 and 11, then eagled 14 to vault back into the picture.

“I’m happy with how I played,” he said. “I didn’t get off to a great start, but I hung in there, and I battled back.

“So I’ll look back at this week and be very encouraged about what I’ve done and the golf that I played. I feel like that will stand me in good stead for what’s coming up.”

McIlroy is scheduled to play the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in two weeks, followed by the PGA Championship and the FedExCup Playoffs.

Getty Images

Edoardo, other pros congratulate Francesco on Twitter

By Grill Room TeamJuly 22, 2018, 6:54 pm

Francesco Molinari played a bogey-free weekend at Carnoustie to claim Italy's first claret jug.

His rock-solid performance in the final round earned him his share of social media plaudits.

Here's a collection of Twitter hat-tips, and we start off with Frankie's brother, Dodo.

Getty Images

Woods: Fan who yelled had 'tipped back a few'

By Jay CoffinJuly 22, 2018, 6:37 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Tiger Woods stood on the 18th tee and thought he needed birdie to have a chance to win The Open. He pulled driver out of his bag, a sign he wanted to boot the ball as far down the fairway as possible.

Woods took a mighty swat and - right in the middle of his downswing - someone yelled. Woods flinched.

Luckily his ball still found a decent spot just off the right of the fairway.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

“I’ve had things like that happen a lot in my career with people who just tried to time it,” Woods said Sunday at Carnoustie after shooting 71 to tie for sixth place. “They tipped back a few, and it’s late in the day.

“Unfortunately, that’s part of what we have to deal with in today’s game. People are trying to yell out things to try to be on TV or be in social media or whatever it may be. That was too close to the game of play.”

Woods hit his approach to 6 feet and missed the birdie putt. He tapped in for par to shoot even par and finish 5 under for the week, in a tie for sixth.

Getty Images

Pros melt down on Twitter as they watch Tiger

By Grill Room TeamJuly 22, 2018, 6:30 pm

Tiger Woods mounted a final-round charge and, for a little while, took the outright lead at Carnoustie on Sunday.

His fellow pros were watching and tweeting like your average fans.

We compiled some of their missives below:

Woods would go on to finish in a tie for sixth at 5 under par for the week.