Gore, who turned 47 in May, is less than two years older than Woods, who turns 46 in December. The two grew up about 40 miles from each other, and formed a lasting friendship while competing in many of the same junior and amateur tournaments.
According to Gore, it was evident even way back then that Woods was destined for something big. On this week’s episode of Subpar, Gore told hosts Colt Knost and Drew Stoltz about the time he first crossed paths with Woods, when Gore was 14.
“[Tiger was] 12 years old. He was really, really good,” Gore said. “You never really realized how good he was gonna be because you just figured he was gonna burn out. There were so many other players at the time who were pushed by their parents. But you’d never realize that he was self-motivated. He was just better. He’s still just better.
“You just kind of knew it,” Gore continued. “You knew that if you competed with him, and you somehow could maybe just beat him on a hole, you had something. He was just great.”
Gore went on to a successful pro career of his own, winning once on the PGA Tour and seven times on the Korn Ferry Tour — a record which still stands. In 2019, Gore accepted a position with the USGA as the organization’s first senior director of player relations.
For more from Gore, including his perspective on the distance debate, check out the full interview below.