Former Wave Jason Gore Wins Third Straigt Nationwide Tour Event on Sunday
Aug. 7, 2005
Omaha, Neb. - (AP) -- Jason Gore graduated from the Nationwide Tour with honors.
The 31-year-old Californian rallied from four shots behind Sunday to win the Cox Classic on the second playoff hole against Roger Tambellini.
Gore, who captured the hearts of fans with his magical run in the U.S. Open in June, became the first golfer to win three straight Nationwide events. The three wins earned him an immediate promotion to the PGA Tour.
Gore, who shot a course-record 59 in the second round, carded eight straight birdies and nine in all while shooting 8-under 63 on Sunday.
Gore birdied the second playoff hole, the 18th, from 3 feet after a terrific pitching wedge from the rough. Tambellini had missed an 8-footer for birdie before Gore made his winning putt.
"It's pretty cool, said Gore, who earned $112,500. "It's been a hard battle. Six months ago I was ready to hang it up. It shows you golf is a great game."
Gore is scheduled to play in the Nationwide event this week in Springfield, Mo., before rejoining the PGA Tour -- he had his card in 2001 and 2003 -- at the Renoe-Taho Open.
"It's a pretty good feeling, for sure," said Gore, who indicated he might reconsider going to Springfield and opt for some rest.
Gore was threatening to pull away after making the turn, but he needed to birdie the final hole to share the 72-hole lead with Tambellini at 23-under 261.
Tambellini had birdied the 16th and 17th to catch Gore.
"I wasn't backing off," said Tambellini, who shot a 64. "I was hitting good shots all day long. He didn't intimidate me, per se. I thought I had the game to beat him today."
Gore started the final round with two pars and followed with seven straight birdies for a 28 on the front nine. When he birdied No. 10, he had a three-shot lead.
But Gore, second in the U.S. Open after three rounds at Pinehurst, parred five straight holes before a three-putt bogey on the 16th gave Tambellini the opening he needed to catch up.
Scott Petersen, the leader by two shots and four ahead of Gore through three rounds, had back-to-back bogeys, his first of the tournament, on the second and third holes to finish tied for third with John Mallinger and Jon Mills at 265.
Petersen's lead over Gore vanished in five holes, but he was still within two after chipping in for birdie on the par-3 12th. His bid for his first title in five years ended with a double-bogey on the 14th when his tee shot hit a tree and dropped into a hazard.
Placing sixth at 266 was Steve LeBrun, whose 63 Saturday featured three eagles including shots of 141 and 159 yards from the fairway on the closing two holes.
Tambellini, who earned $67,500 for second place, said he won't miss Gore on the Nationwide Tour.
"It's good to get him off this tour and onto the tour he should be on," Tambellini said.