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An insurance salesman in contention and 2 other storylines at the RSM Classic

November 17, 2018

An insurance salesman is contending to win on the PGA Tour. Yes, you read that correctly. Jason Gore, former Tour winner and current insurance salesman, is in second place through 54 holes at the RSM Classic.

Gore is making the most of a sponsor’s exemption this week, shooting 68-63-66 in his first three rounds in Sea Island. All of that has come during a week in which his boss “let me off to play.” Gore’s “real job,” as he calls it, is selling insurance for Kirkland Gore, a company he shares and helps run.

According to Gore, the company has existed for three years, and he’s really been enjoying it. It keeps him playing plenty of golf, too. He’s brought those good vibes to the RSM this week.

“I’ve been playing a bunch of golf, just been doing a lot of client golf. It’s been fun,” Gore said. “Actually realized that I love the game again, that I actually love playing it. Sometimes you get out of here and you just beat yourself up, especially a year that was bad.”

At his peak, Gore was the 77th ranked player in the world, back in 2005 after he won three straight Web.com tour events and a PGA Tour event just six weeks later. But in the early 2010s, Gore sustained a back injury that required surgery. His game was never quite the same.

Thanks to host Davis Love III and tournament director Todd Thompson, Gore was able to snag one of the sponsor’s exemptions. And now, he’s made just five bogeys in 54 holes and trails Charles Howell III by one stroke. Sunday awaits.

“I haven’t played a weekend in so long, I don’t know what to do. I’m just going to go one shot at a time,” Gore said Friday. “I’ve got nothing to lose. This is fun for me. Like I was telling them earlier, I’m an insurance salesman now. I totally love being at home and just — so this is just — this is just kind of fun.”

Chucky Three-sticks closing in 

Charles Howell III has not won on the PGA Tour in over a decade, despite remaining relevant as the 84th-ranked player in the world. Can he get it done Sunday at the RSM?

If Howell can seal the deal, it’ll be an impressive, wire-to-wire victory, and his first since the 2007 Nissan Open. Howell finished second at two events during the 2017 season but never fully got the job done. If you’ve got a flier bet on Howell to win this week or just a big CHIII fan, channel some good vibes with this video recap after he beat Tiger Woods in match play.

Champ of all areas

Cam Champ, ever heard of him? Surely you have. Champ is the big-hitting youngster who won at the Sanderson Farms event weeks ago and who is personally reinvigorating the distance debate. Like Gore, Champ is just one stroke behind Howell and, yeah, he’s still hitting it really far. Only this week, he’s also dominating with the flatstick. Champ has gained 6.2 strokes on the field over the two rounds on the Seaside course (which is the only course where Shotlink is being used this week), which is best in the field. The 23-year-old has made 15 birdies in his last 31 holes.