Rocket fueled

Noticed Jason Gore (Hart High of Newhall/Pepperdine) was wearing an Astros hat during the opening rounds of the PGA Tour’s Houston Open. Wasn’t surprising, since Gore recently split with Nike.

But it seems there’s quite a story behind the hat. To wit:

Clemens-inspired Gore shares lead at Houston Open
By CHRIS DUNCAN
AP Sports Writer
HUMBLE, Texas _ Jason Gore got a boost from the Rocket in the Houston Open.
Wearing a black Houston Astros cap that Roger Clemens gave him, Gore shot a 4-under 68 on Friday
to join a six-player logjam at the top.
Defending champion Stuart Appleby, Bubba Watson, D.J. Brigman and Texans Bob Estes and Jeff
Maggert also were 6 under after two rounds, and Hunter Mahan, Tommy Armour III and Tom Byrum were
one shot back.
Gore, who has a Boston Red Sox jersey at home that Clemens once autographed, first formally met
his boyhood idol two years ago at the ADT Skills Challenge and the two became friends.
Hes always been my hero, Gore said.
Clemens, still undecided on whether hell return to baseball, played in a pro-am on Wednesday and
also gave Gore a T-shirt that read Tough All Day across the front. The inspired Gore marked the
letters TAD on his ball before teeing off Thursday and shot a 2-under 70, his best round in
more than a month.
Its just one of those things, Gore said of the simple message. No matter how bad things go,
youve got to just stay tough.

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Wie out

Wie isn’t playing in men’s or women’s tournaments these days. Wie will miss the Kraft Nabisco, one of the four LPGA majors, with the left wrist injury that has kept her out of action for about a month, according to Ken Sunshine Consultants, a public relations firm that represents Wie. Wie injured the wrist after she fell while on a run. She has played in just one professional event this year – the PGA Tour’s Sony Open in her home state of Hawaii – and failed to make the cut.

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The first 18th

On the first playoff hole, Loren Roberts’ first shot was partially buried in the rough, but not as bad as Tom Purtzers second shot, which was nearly hidden in the rough around the green. Purtzer made a nice chip shot out of there to within 19 feet but left the putt, which wouldve won the tournament, 2 feet short. He parred the hole and Roberts two-putted from 49 feet.

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Extra holes we go

Loren Roberts parred the par-5 18th hole, forcing a playoff with Tom Purtzer. Purtzer birdied from 10 feet on 18 and Roberts two-putted from 19 feet.
The golfers will play No. 18 in the playoff until someone wins.

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Trouble closing

In the 17 previous AT&T Champions Classics, the Saturday leader/co-leader has gone on to win just six times. The winners were John Brodie (1991), Joe Inman (1998, 2000), Jim Colbert (2001), Gil Morgan (2004) and Tom Kite (2006).

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Front-runner

Hale Irwin, the second-round leader, has won 33 of 48 events when he has led or been tied for the lead entering the final round.

He was even through 13 holes Sunday to fall into a tie for third, two strokes behind Tom Purtzer and David Eger.

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