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Pro golf: Gore’s Twitter wish granted

Local golfer and Hart High graduate earns exemption to play in the Northern Trust Open

Posted: January 12, 2012 10:11 p.m.
Updated: January 12, 2012 10:11 p.m.

Jason Gore wanted an invitation to the 2012 Northern Trust Open.

He wanted it badly.

So the PGA veteran and Hart High graduate turned to Twitter to float the idea of getting a sponsor’s exemption to the most prestigious annual golfing events in the Los Angeles area.

A few days after his tweets were sent out on the popular social networking site, the tournament officially announced his exemption on Thursday, meaning the 37-year-old Stevenson Ranch resident won’t have to prequalify for the event.

It’ll take place at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades from Feb. 14-19 and will mark Gore’s seventh career start in the tournament.

Last year, he had to take part in the Monday qualifier to make it.

This time around, his strategy was to directly ask the tournament for an invite.

He first tweeted about his desire to play in the event on Sunday, and that was swiftly followed by a flood of supportive re-tweets and responses from friends, supporters and many of his nearly 9,000 followers.

Tournament general manager Mike Bone admitted the Twitter mania influenced the decision to exempt Gore.

“It helped,” Bone said. “It helped because it kept his name up there at the top, but he was on our short list anyway.”

According to a Northern Trust Open press release, Gore was also selected based on his popularity in the area and his name recognition after sharing a 36-hole lead in the 2005 U.S. Open.

“Jason’s record and his strong local ties to Southern California put him on the Northern Trust Corporation’s short list for a sponsor’s exemption since last year,” said Jerry West, tournament executive director and Los Angeles Laker legend, in the press release. “We are all pleased to see that his many fans on Twitter agreed that he is deserving of this exemption. We look forward to seeing all of Jason’s fans, which we are dubbing Gore’s Gallery, at the tournament next month at Riviera.”

It will mark Gore’s first participation in a PGA Tour event since Qualifying School in early December and his first tournament since the FedEx St. Jude Classic in June 2011.

Due to a shoulder injury that required surgery last year, Gore had to spend a few months away from the game to recover.
For now, Gore is a member of the PGA Nationwide Tour, one step below the PGA Tour.

Minutes after the announcement of his exemption came, Gore was quick to express his gratitude.

He tweeted, “Now, EVERYONE COME OUT!!! Support me and a great tournament!!! @NTrustOpen thanks you for the opportunity. I’m so honored!”


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