2005: Nationwide Tour - Gore roars to the PGA Tour
Friday, September 23, 2011
Among Jason Gore’s accomplishments the past three months are a spot in the final pairing on Sunday at the U.S. Open, a record-tying 12-under 59 in a Nationwide Tour event and an unprecedented three consecutive victories on the secondary circuit.
This week, he’s going to try something different. This week, he’s going to be a spectator.
“I’ll definitely watch the Walker Cup, no question,” said Gore, a 1997 Walker Cup player whose victory at the Cox Classic Aug. 7 was his third of the season and earned him a battlefield promotion to the PGA Tour. “I kind of want to go. I’ll have to sit down with the missus and figure it out.”
Whether Megan Gore approves an out-of-the-way trip to Chicago Golf Club to watch the biennial matches remains to be seen. But after her husband’s playoff victory over Roger Tambellini in Omaha last week the couple does have some free time.
Although Gore became the seventh player to score the Nationwide Tour trifecta, his playoff victory in Omaha, Neb., easily stands out from the rest.
Gore began the week at Champions Run fresh from back-to-back victories in West Virginia and Wisconsin. But after an opening-round 71 on a low-scoring layout, the California native didn’t seem headed to the history books. That changed with a nine-birdie, two-eagle, one-bogey second round.
“I was just trying to throw myself somewhere so I could just see the shadows of the leaders,” said Gore, who didn’t qualify for this week’s PGA Championship and likely will play the PGA Tour’s Reno-Tahoe Open Aug. 18-21. “I was trying to get a decent round in after playing so shabby (on Thursday).”
Gore slipped in Round 3, shooting 3-under 68 to fall four shots behind leader Scott Petersen. But he began the final day with birdies on eight of his first 10 holes and appeared headed for victory before Tambellini birdied Nos. 16 and 17.
To tie Tambellini at 23-under 261, Gore needed to birdie the 18th. His 8-iron approach shot stopped 15 feet from the hole and he made the putt.
Gore and Tambellini traded pars on the first extra hole before Gore secured his third trip to the PGA Tour with a 4-footer for birdie on the second playoff hole.
“He has the force on his side right now,” Tambellini said. “It is good to get him off this tour and on the PGA Tour. It will be nice to play next week without him.”
Gore became the first Nationwide player to win three consecutive events and he moved to the top of the money list with $356,579.
The confidence he gained at Pinehurst, where he opened with rounds of 71-67-72 before a final-day 84 dropped him into a tie for 49th, has given the 31-year-old Gore a boost. He also credited a not-so-gentle pep talk from PGA Tour player Pat Perez a week before the U.S. Open for giving him a mid-season spark.
“You know, it was typical Pat. He was like, ‘Hurry up. . . . Come on and get it together,’ ” said Gore, who joined Matt Gogel and Sean Murphy with a Nationwide-leading six career victories. “He just wanted me to stop screwing around."