Saturday, December 24, 2005

Positive Pelham Golfer of the Year -- Jason Gore


The first annual Positive Pelham Professional Golfer of the Year award goes to Jason Gore. If you aren't familiar with Jason's story, you are in for a treat. Jason Gore is a lovable teddy bear of a golfer. He burst onto the scene this year at the U.S. Open at Pinehurst in North Carolina. Seemingly coming from nowhere, Jason was leading the tournament going into the final round on Sunday. He was paired with two-time U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen, and the galleries were loving his never ending grin and upbeat positive attitude.

Unfortunately, Jason wasn't able to continue his stellar play during the final round and shot an 84. Everyone assumed he would fade away and never be heard from again. Nothing could be farther from the truth though.

To understand why I have chosen him as the Positive Pelham Golfer of the Year, you have to look back at his career before this year's U.S. Open. Jason was a very promising junior golfer who competed against none other than Tiger Woods on a regular basis. He was a star collegiate player at Pepperdine and even made the U.S. Walker Cup, which is like the Ryder Cup for amateurs.

However, when he was about to make his professional debut on the Nike Tour, which is to golf like the AAA league is to Major League baseball, his father died of a heart attack on the day he was leaving for his first tournament. He proceeded to have a rotten year that first year, and he toiled in the minor leagues for over seven years with a couple of stints on the PGA Tour before having his break-through performance at the U.S. Open this year.

What makes his improbable performance at the U.S. Open even more remarkable is the fact that the night before arriving at Pinehurst, he and his wife and their infant son Jaxon stopped at a roadside hotel to spend the night. When they awoke, they discovered that their Ford Explorer had been vandalized and the vandals had stolen everything from their truck even damaging the A/C system in the process. The Gore's had to drive the rest of the way to Pinehurst in a hot truck with an infant. Not a good way to start a tournament.

But, even though he didn't win the U.S. Open, he rebounded like a champion and went on to win three consecutive starts on the Nationwide Tour to earn an automatic jump to the PGA Tour, and then he proceeded to win the 84 Lumber Classic on the PGA Tour, and it's first prize of $792,000. Considering he was on his last leg at the U.S. Open having borrowed $12,000 from a buddy for one last chance to make the tour, saying his year turned around would be an understatement.

Jason is fond of saying, "Everything happens for a Reason." He exemplifies perseverance and is a worthy recipient of our positive golfer of the year award. For more on Jason's story and his remarkable journey, visit GolfDigest.com.

Congratulations Jason! We wish you continued success in 2006!

Make it a great day.

J. Anthony.

comments

1 Response to "Positive Pelham Golfer of the Year -- Jason Gore"
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