'What did I just do?' Gore asked after making par at the 18th hole to hang on for the win at the 84 Lumber Classic on Sunday.
It was a lot different that his finish at this year's U.S. Open, when Gore and Retief Goosen folded miserably in the final group on Sunday at Pinehurst.
'You just gotta sometimes think you're not going to go down like that, and you just gotta fight to the end,' Gore said after scrambling for par at 18 with Franco waiting in the clubhouse at 13 under.
'And that's kind of what happened.'
Gore, who earned a 'battlefield promotion' from the Nationwide Tour last month, earned $792,000 for the victory. He led by four strokes at 16 under after his second birdie of the round at No. 13.
That advantage fell to three, however, when he stumbled to a bogey at the 14th.
But Gore showed resolve when he stepped to the tee at 15 and blasted a 365- yard drive down the fairway to set up par. And he showed determination at 16 when he saved par after driving into some spectators in the left rough at the par-5 hole.
Then, at the 17th, Gore's tee shot found the greenside rough. He chipped within 4 feet, but pulled the short putt left to settle for bogey and a one-shot lead over Franco, who had moved to 13 under with a birdie at the 16th.
'I thought it was a pretty good chip shot, but it just ended a little short,' Gore said.
Franco then had a 24-foot birdie putt come up just short at the 18th to finish with a 3-under 69 in his final round.
Gore nearly found a fairway bunker off the tee when he got to 18, but the ball came up just short. His second ended up just shy of the green, and that's when the 31-year-old came up with the shot of the day.
Using his putter, Gore rolled the ball across the green and to within a foot of the hole to set up an easy tap-in for the win. The crowd, which has been loyally faithful to Gore since the U.S. Open, cheered loudly.
'It was pretty incredible,' said Gore, who shot a 59 during one of his three Nationwide Tour wins this year. 'I'm lucky I can even talk.
'Sometimes you just have to dig a little deep. Hopefully I will learn a little from this and still become a better player.'
Ben Crane shot a 5-under 67 in his final round to end alone in third place at 11-under-par 277. Tim Herron (70) finished one stroke further back in fourth place.
Chris DiMarco, the 2000 champion, shot a final-round 72 to end in a tie for fifth place at minus-9. John Huston (69), Jonathan Byrd (70) and Cameron Beckman (72) joined him there.
Defending champion Vijay Singh was 4 under in his final round and ended in a tie for 13th place with three other players at minus-7.