I guess I can reveal the bet now between Retief Goosen and me at the U.S. Open, since I haven’t paid him yet. It was just a $5 bet. Retief said something to me like, “Do you know the game of cricket?” I said, “Yeah, a little bit.” He said, “That’s the only thing we’re having right now, a good game of cricket, since we’re having so many overs.” And I said, “Well, heck, you want to play for $5 on the way in?” I turn around and he’s laughing. He won the bet because I doubled the last hole for an 84.
I don’t know why the fans have taken to me so much. Maybe it’s the whole underdog thing. They can relate. I just have a lot of fun when I’m playing. Maybe the fans at the U.S. Open saw how I was having a good time and enjoying it for what it was.
I love playing in front of the bigger crowds. We’re all kind of sicko hot dogs in that way. The fans are awesome. You get a little down and they yell, “C’mon, Gore! PBR!” That’s a cool feeling. During the U.S. Open, someone was always yelling PBR, because my caddie, Lewis Puller, wore a Pabst Blue Ribbon hat. They’d yell, “PBR me ASAP,” just like the old Pabst ads. That was pretty funny.
Confidence is what I took out of the U.S. Open. Any time you get on the biggest stage and perform well, it’s definitely a confidence booster. To know that I could play in the final group on Sunday of a major, that was huge for me.
Shooting 59 like I did on the Nationwide Tour, that was unexpected. I had to make a 20-footer for eagle on the last hole to shoot 59. I told everybody I didn’t know it was for 59, but that’s not true. I knew. I’m a sucker for drama.
I played with Tiger a lot during my junior days. We roomed together at the Canon Cup one year, and when he walked out in his glasses for the first time, he looked like Urkel with those big, thick shades on. I was like, “Dude, oh my God!” He’s like, “Shhhhh, don’t tell anyone.”
It took awhile for me to become myself again after my father passed away [in 1997]. I just used his death as an excuse for how I played. It was an easy way out. I didn’t think anything really affected me, but I always had a way of saying, “Well, my dad just died.” It was a big excuse. It’s life. It’s horrible, but it happens.
I started playing guitar just by listening to the Dave Matthews Band. One year for my birthday my wife, Megan, surprised me and got me backstage at one of the band’s concerts. They had Red Bull and vodka backstage, and I pounded about six of them with Dave. I was like, “ey, you’ve got to come out and play in the AT&T [Pebble Beach National Pro-Am] with me.” I guess the whole band plays golf.
John Daly and I have jammed together a little bit. John thinks he’s really good, and he’s OK. I think I’m OK and I’m really bad.
What one song would best sum up my recent journey? Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer” [laughs].