USGA hires former U.S. Open legend for new senior director role of PGA Tour player relations
Jared C. Tilton
The USGA has come under fire for its latest revision to the Rules of Golf, with a number of high-profile players complaining about the lack of rapport between the PGA Tour and the governing body. It appears those criticisms have been heard.
To combat communication issues, the USGA has hired Jason Gore for its new senior director of player relations. According to the USGA, the "appointment launches a comprehensive program aimed at sharing information and strengthening engagement with players in areas of importance to the USGA. These include initiatives to grow and advance the game, research critical to the game’s health and continuing to incorporate the players' perspective in its work to advance the sport."
The 44-year-old Gore has made 291 starts on the PGA Tour and another 233 on the Web.com Tour in his career. A former U.S. Walker Cup member, Gore is best known for playing in the final group on Sunday of the 2005 U.S. Open as a Cinderella, beginning the week outside the top 800 in the world rankings. Though Gore would shoot a final-round 84, he would go on to win the 84 Lumber Classic later that fall.
In recent years, Gore has bounced around the tour and Web.com, making just four starts at the big-league level this year. Though he may continue to play in a handful of events, Gore will lead a full-time staff at the USGA's headquarters in Liberty Corner, N.J., primarily focusing on the USGA's U.S. Open and its elite amateur competitions.
Joining Gore is Liz Fradkin, who assumed her player relations role last fall. Previously the manager of the USGA’s Curtis Cup Team and a member of the U.S. Women’s Amateur staff, Fradkin has already been a fixture at several LPGA Tour events.
"While we’ve often engaged with players on a variety of projects and enjoy many longstanding relationships, this is the first time we have dedicated a team of full-time staff members to serve as year-long ambassadors for the USGA, as well as a voice for players," said John Bodenhamer, senior managing director, championships, in a statement. "We’re excited to see what has been a long-term priority coming to fruition.”