WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — Jason Gore spent four years at the USGA keeping a better line of communication with the players. Now the PGA Tour has hired him for a similar role.
Gore was hired as senior vice president and player adviser to the commissioner, a move the tour described on Friday as a player advocate to further strengthen the relationship between the tour and the players.
The hiring comes at a crucial time for the tour, which faces a rival Saudi-funded tour that has already resulted in 26 players on the tour signing up for LIV Golf. Earlier this week, Tiger Woods flew to Delaware for a meeting of the only top players that was partly about strategy for the tour.
Rory McIlroy, a four-time major champion who sits on the PGA Tour board, said Gore’s work at the USGA has led to a “complete 180” in player relations with US Open organizers. He said he now ranks among the top two players for the way players are treated and the feedback they can provide.
“I think Jason is coming back into the fold, especially with everything going on in the golf world right now, I’m surprised the USGA is letting him go because he’s so good, but he’s a great addition to the circuit.”
Mike Whan, CEO of the USGA, said in a statement to his staff: “He believes deeply in the leadership of the USGA, but the pull of his ‘fraternity’ into the ranks of the PGA Tour was very strong and Jason knows it’s the right decision, at the right time for him (and for golf).
Gore’s best touring year was in 2005 when he played in the final group of the US Open at No. 2 Pinehurst, won the Korn Ferry Tour three times to earn instant promotion to the PGA Tour, then won the now defunct. 84 classic wood.
“We are not looking for ex-players to handle this. Players are players and management is management and they are executives and they are trained to run businesses. That’s not what we do,” McIlroy said.
He said Gore could be the “missing link” in taking ideas from players and articulating them to commissioner Jay Monahan.
“He’s a player advocate. He wants to do everything the best he can to make the players as happy as possible,” McIlroy said. “And that’s a good addition.”
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