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January 17, 2006

Jason Gore


TODD BUDNICK: Jason, here we are at the start of the new year, have you had a little bit of time to reflect on just everything that you accomplished last year, both on the Nationwide Tour and on the PGA TOUR Player of the Year out there, first victory out here? Just give us some thoughts on all that that passed last year.

JASON GORE: Well, it's kind of hard to comprehend because it all went so fast. I had a chance to hang out with the family this year, this off season and even though it went pretty fast, it was a good time to reflect and try to look back on what I learned. Hopefully the last two weeks won't affect too much, but you know, that's golf. It happens. So we're just looking forward to getting here on this West Coast Swing. I'm a West Coast guy, so looking forward to getting into some good tournaments.

TODD BUDNICK: I know you don't want to start like you did, I understand, but the nice thing is that you have a two year exemption to work on things and take it a little bit easier. You came into last year looking for a lot of things, and walked away with everything. So talk about this year not having that pressure to know that you've got to keep your card this year and that you still want to play well.

JASON GORE: I think now that I've gained a little experience and a little confidence out here, I think I'm not really worried about keeping my card. Obviously I've got it through '07, but it's a different mindset. I'm not looking to try to keep my card anymore. I'm looking to get into contention and have chances to win golf tournaments. That's really what I'm trying to do and you know, you try to I've said it a million times, it's pretty redundant right now. But you try to learn something new every day and try to become a better player, and that's really what I'm trying to do and get in contention.

TODD BUDNICK: You've had a chance to look at the Classic Course here yesterday in the super windy conditions. And today a little bit more calmer. Give us your assessment of the new course.

JASON GORE: It's a great golf course, a lot of water, a lot of trouble. I'm sure it will yield some low scores; this tournament always does. But I think it's a great golf course. It's in phenomenal condition for just opening up. It's going to be a lot of fun to play, especially since this is out of La Quinta, so it's kind of a little bit more in the windy section of the desert.

You know, it will be a great test and a great golf course.

Q. A lot of people talk about had they do get their card or the exemption for a win, the big advantage is scheduling that you don't feel like you have to play every week. Is that the biggest thing for you at start of this year, or are there other big perks?

JASON GORE: No, that's actually one of the big ones. I basically have set my schedule for the year, and it's pretty nice. I always had to play out of urgency, but now that the schedule is set, I can relax and know where I'm going to be going and know what I'm going to be doing. That's quite a weight off your shoulders. You know, you don't have to worry about if you get a little tired or you just feel like you want to go home for a week, it's not the end of the world. It's kind of a nice feeling to have.

Q. You mentioned you played the course twice, under different conditions, what do you think the overriding characteristic of the golf course is, is it the water, is it the length or what?

JASON GORE: It is. There's a lot of water on this golf course. I think it was almost on every hole. Seemed to me at least 15 or 16 of them.

But yeah, there's plenty of room to drive it. The rough is not over overkill, but you'll definitely get a squirter or two. I think it's a great golf course. The greens are rolling fantastically and not to sound really crazy, I guess it all depends on how the wind blows. If it blows one direction, it could make 10, 11, 12, play very, very difficult. It's definitely going to be a good challenge. You've got to drive your golf ball on this course. The other golf courses are not so much of a premium on that. I think it's going to play very well.

Q. You mentioned the greens, what kind of shape are they in?

JASON GORE: They are in great shape.

Q. For a new course, that's usually the toughest thing off and on a new course, to get the greens straightened out.

JASON GORE: Absolutely. They are firm. They are not taking very many shots. They are taking a couple of good bounces. You know, the par 5s are very accessible, but you really can't go in them with a long iron or a 3 wood because they won't hold the green.

I think there's going to be a lot of birdies made but not a lot of yields made. The driving areas on the par 5s are pretty tight and it's definitely a risk/reward golf course, that's for sure.

Q. You mentioned being a West Coast guy: Pepperdine, NCAA; my friend, Mike Walton.

JASON GORE: Having dinner with him tonight, yeah.

Q. Are you more comfortable on the West Coast, in these tournaments, or do you feel like you've played around the country so much now, are you I guess comfortable everywhere?

JASON GORE: I think we play around I've been on the East Coast so much and I've actually developed allergies now on the West Coast now, figure that one out.

I just think you're able to have actual our house being a hub, if I didn't want to go down to San Diego, could I drive two hours and go back home and go down to San Diego. It's nice. I have my car out here, brought my guitar. It's a much more comfortable place, and you know, I've played these golf courses a lot. That's another comfort level.

Q. What is your West Coast schedule?

JASON GORE: I'm playing everything except for Phoenix right now, Phoenix and/or if something else happens, hopefully Match Play. I'm not sure about Tucson yet. I went to University of Arizona for a couple of years and one Pac 10 is on that golf course, so it would be hard not to go there.

Q. That would be seven or eight weeks out.

JASON GORE: Yeah, but I'll be in L.A. for one week and I'll stay at home. Even when I go home, I still play golf. It just means my home golf course when I go home is going to be a little different. And the money game might be a little bit more. So I don't really count that as a week on the road. Sleeping in your own bed is always nice.

Q. With the first win on this tour, does that change your expectation level coming into this season? Do you say, okay, one is done, now we've got to go two, three, four?

JASON GORE: Well, sure, it makes you hungrier. But golf is a pretty funny game. I'm not a guy who really likes to set goals. I think sometimes they can if you set them too low, they limit you and if you set them too high, you set up for frustration.

I really just try to keep everything in perspective and try to stay in the moment and really only worry about my first tee ball tomorrow, because that's really all I have control over and then go find it and hit the next one and then chase that one and we'll go on from there. Just try to be as smart and as efficient as possible.

Yeah, it certainly was a good time winning. You know, that's what we all strive to do. Everybody out there on that golf course right now, banging balls on the range, it's all what we dream about doing. Yeah, I think I definitely want to do it again.

Q. One of the things that players talk about in this tournament are the 3 putts because you're dropping a shot and you can't drop shots in this tournament; do you think there will be any 3 putt greens?

JASON GORE: We were talking about that this morning. It seems like there's pretty much on every green, there's three different sections and it's all bisected by a mound or a ridge right in the middle of them, which can lead to 3 putting. But it can also lead to some shots bouncing closer to the hole.

So you've really got to hit some good irons in there and if you hit it on the wrong side of the ridge, especially these greens, these greens are pretty fast. It can lead to some 3 putting, but they are rolling so good right now, you stand over a 4 footer and it just you know, put it this way: If you miss a 4 footer out there, it's your fault.

TODD BUDNICK: Thank you very much for visiting with us, Jason.

End of FastScripts.

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