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SCV golfers earn PGA cards

Jason Gore, Max Homa to play on PGA Tour next season

Posted: August 25, 2014 10:33 p.m.
Updated: August 25, 2014 10:33 p.m.

Hart graduate Jason Gore earned his first PGA Tour card since 2009 on Sunday.

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Sunday was a big day for one of golf’s brightest young stars and another one of its best comeback stories of the year.

A pair of former Santa Clarita Valley prep stars, Valencia graduate Max Homa and Hart graduate Jason Gore, officially earned their 2015 PGA Tour cards. Both are now full-time members of the sport’s most prestigious tour for next season.

They earned the status by finishing in the top 25 on the Tour money list at the conclusion of the tour’s regular season, which wrapped up on Sunday at the WinCo Foods Portland Open.

Homa will be a rookie on the big tour, while Gore earns his first PGA card since 2009 after dealing with injuries in recent years.

“It was definitely weird hearing someone say, ‘Welcome to the PGA Tour,’” Homa said.

Gore finished the season ninth place on the money rankings with $253,046 in tournament winnings. Homa was 17th at $192,350.

After the final putt dropped at the Portland Open on Sunday, Homa, Gore and most of the others among the 25 graduates posed for a photo together while holding up their PGA Tour cards after the final putt dropped at the Portland Open. Homa and Gore stood side-by-side. Homa said the two have been good friends since he was around 8 years old.

“Thanks to everyone for all the support! You have no idea how much it all means to me. Now, on to bigger and better things!” Gore posted on his Twitter account Sunday.

From here, both players will have the option of entering the playoffs, which is a stretch of four tournaments played across the next four weeks and finishing up with the Tour Championship from Sept. 18-21.

Though Homa and Gore are automatically locked into the PGA Tour for the 2015 season, they can both try to improve their priority status on the tour by playing well in these playoff events.

“It’s obviously really exciting,” said Homa, who plans to play all four events. “I don’t think it’s really going to sink in until the end of this little string of playoffs.”

The playoffs begin with the Hotel Fitness Championship on Thursday in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

The bulk of Homa’s winnings this year came from his victory at the BMW Charity Pro-Am in May, which came with a prize of $117,000. The 23-year-old played a 14 events this year, twice finishing in the top 10 and six times in the top 25.

This was Homa’s first season playing as a professional coming off his decorated collegiate career at the University of California, Berkeley.

“It was just plugging along and trying my best to stay as focused on the end goal and stay positive the whole way through,” Homa said. “Obviously it’s different sometimes. This tour, every dollar counts and every place counts.”

Gore’s path to the PGA Tour was a different one. In 14 events this year, he recorded two second-place finishes, one third-place finish and made six appearances. The 40-year-old Pepperdine graduate has played six previous seasons as a full-time PGA Tour member, but he’s struggled to make his way back after losing his tour card five years ago.

He even admitted to considering retirement, once applying for the Pepperdine golf coaching job in 2012.

But here he is, back for another crack at the big leagues.


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