Nationwide Tour Insider: Gore seeking one big week

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Jason Gore has struggled to make cuts on the Nationwide Tour this year, but the one-time PGA TOUR winner is determined to regain his form.
August 25, 2010
John Dell, Nationwide Tour Insider

Where and when to play can be a little confusing at this time of year, but Jason Gore wants to tee it up wherever he can.

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"Right now, I don't really care where I'm playing -- I just want to be playing the way I should," said Gore, who tied for 41st Sunday at the Wyndham Championship on the PGA TOUR but is playing on the Nationwide Tour this week. "I want to go out and be patient and calm and be into every shot.

"I feel like I'm swinging great and wherever they let me put a tee into the ground that's where I'll play."

This week's Knoxville News Sentinel Open starts the Nationwide Tour's most important stretch -- a 10-tournament odyssey that will decide a lot as players chase PGA TOUR cards for 2011.

Gore has been in this spot before, and so have other veterans trying to carve out their futures in the game. It can be stressful at times, but the happy-go-lucky Gore doesn't sweat the details.

"Every one of us wants a job next year," Gore said. "It's tough so we are all out here battling."

Gore has split time on the Nationwide Tour and PGA TOUR this season. He has played in 12 Nationwide Tour events making six cuts but hasn't put together a really good week yet.

He struggles to find an answer when asked what his status is these days.

"I'm a heavyweight," Gore said. "I just want to do what I'm supposed to do and be committed to every shot. Right now I'm in no-man's land. Whatever positive I can take I'll take it. Whether it's going to the Nationwide Tour or wherever I just want to see the putts go in and see what happens."

Gore won three times on the Nationwide Tour in 2005 to earn an instant promotion to the PGA TOUR, where he also went on to win that year. He knows all-too-well about catching fire late in the season.

"I'm not doing too well on the Nationwide Tour but out there it can turn around in a heartbeat," Gore said. "I'm just trying to treat every tournament like it's my last one and play hard."

Gore is perplexed, though, because he's feeling the best he's ever felt and his swing has been very consistent. He opened with a solid 65 at the Wyndham Championship, but wound up tying for 41st, his best showing on the PGA TOUR in 2010.

When asked what' been wrong, Gore's grin said it all. "My brain," he said.

Gore says he hasn't relaxed like he should, and it's cost him.

"I've just been pressing too hard and I feel like I'm a still a great player and I'm pressing and trying too hard instead of just realizing I have the talent," Gore said. "Physically, I'm 100 percent and I feel great and I'm swinging great but I just haven't done anything well. I haven't put it all together."

Gore says his goal is to try and make a run late this season on the Nationwide Tour, but he knows it won't be easy. He's a distant 131st on the money list with his best showing a tie for 27th at the Cox Classic in Omaha.

He missed his next two cuts on the Nationwide Tour, but said he found something in Greensboro that he hopes to carry with him through the rest of the season.

Gore says having the experience on the Nationwide Tour can only help him.

"It's a great place to play," Gore said. "It's a great place to learn how to be a pro. It's more than just on the golf course; it's about traveling and learning to fend for yourself. Like where am I going to sleep tonight? That's why the Nationwide is so great."

Another veteran who has his eye on the money list is Frank Lickliter, a two-time PGA TOUR champ who has spent most of his season on the Nationwide Tour.

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"This year has been a rebuilding year for me," said Lickliter, who had a tie for second in the Melwood Prince George's County Open and followed that up later in June with a tie for fifth in Mexico. "I'm not even thinking about that stuff and just worrying about the state of my game."

This is Lickliter's first full season on the Nationwide Tour.

"It's getting rounds in and getting competition and not sitting at home and just practicing," Lickliter said. "It doesn't matter where I play; it's just a matter of getting rounds in and playing."

He will take this week off before heading into the final stretch of the Nationwide Tour season. He sits a respectable 44th on the money list.

Lickliter, who is never one to beat around the bush, had a novel way of describing his play his season. "I'm just working on removing layers of (stuff) from my game," he said. "I've played like a bipolar, manic depressive for awhile."

As for his final push this season Lickliter isn't worried about fatigue.

"All we're doing is playing golf," he said. "I'll keep an eye on that money list because there all kinds of ways to do it. I want to go out there and play solid and my game is getting better so that's all I care about."

John Dell has covered golf for the Winston-Salem Journal in North Carolina for the last 16 years. His views do not necessarily represent the views of the PGA TOUR.

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