2005: Gore proving he chose the proper path

Bridgeport, W.Va.

Jason Gore’s game plan is working.

Following his whirlwind ride at the U.S. Open last month, Gore turned down PGA Tour sponsor exemptions in order to earn his Tour card via the Nationwide Tour. One of those exemptions was for the PGA Tour’s John Deere Classic held opposite the Nationwide Tour’s National Mining Association Pete Dye Classic.

On July 10, Gore moved closer with a one-stroke victory over Doug LaBelle II at Pete Dye Golf Club. The $108,000 payday moved Gore from No. 57 to No. 7 ($149,579) in Nationwide Tour earnings. The top 20 players earn PGA Tour cards for 2006.

“It has been quite a month,” Gore said. “Whatever tournament you are playing in at the time is a very important tournament, whether it is the U.S. Open or the National Mining Association Pete Dye Classic.”

Gore made a 21⁄2-foot eagle putt on the par-5 15th and parred the final three holes – holing a 4-footer on No. 18 – to finish with a 4-under 68 and 17-under 271 total. It was Gore’s fourth Nationwide Tour title, his first since winning twice in 2002.

“I had a lot of fun out there today,” Gore said. “To be able to hug your mom coming off the 18th green is pretty cool. I’m just glad we ran out of holes there at the end.

“This is where I needed to be. My goal is to get my card through the Nationwide Tour, and to do that I’ve got to be out here every week. It certainly paid off for me this week. This takes a big chunk out of the work that I have in front of me.”

LaBelle shot 66 to finish at 16-under 272. Bubba Dickerson (69) finished third at 15 under.

“Coming in second isn’t too bad,” LaBelle said. “Jason is definitely playing with a lot of confidence right now. But after missing eight straight cuts, coming in second isn’t too bad for me. I did everything that I wanted to do this week, it is just that one guy shot one lower than I did.”

Gore was scheduled to play this week’s Nationwide Tour event in Hudson, Wis.

“Chris (Couch) and Troy (Matteson) have set the bar so high that we’ve got to go catch them,” Gore said. “But this is a good start for me.”

– Staff and wire reports

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