Jacksonville Sports Day

Golf: Shore Takes Medalist Honors as Heavy Rain Reduces Tourney to 54 holes

HOWEY-IN-THE-HILLS —Davis Shore certainly picked the right time to go low. Saying after his third round that he felt a score like his 8-under 64 coming on, that eight-birdie, no-bogey performance turned out to be the difference-maker as the Tennessee native earned medalist honors at PGA TOUR Latinoamérica’s Qualifying Tournament when a nor’easter that pummeled Central Florida beginning Thursday night ultimately forced a tournament officials to reduce the event to 54 holes.

More than five inches of rain fell in a 24-hour period beginning Thursday night, leaving the El Campeόn Course at Mission Inn Resort and Club unplayable.

Following Thursday’s third round, Shore took a two-shot lead over Austin Hitt, an advantage that eventually held up. Moments after officials sent the email to players notifying them of the round’s cancellation, one of the first congratulatory texts Shore received came from Hitt.

The victory gives Shore access to all 2021-22 PGA TOUR Latinoamérica tournaments. Hitt, along with 10 others will be exempt to play in all events through the first half of the season, their ability to continue playing based on performance.

Hitt joined Carson Roberts, Ryan Davis, Trey Shirley, Fred Meyer, Ryan Cole, Kevin Velo, Corbin Mills , Velten Meyer, Cole Madey and David Pastore as the other exempt players, Madey, Pastore and Meyer earning the final three spots by prevailing in a four-players-for-three spots playoff contested on Nos. 11 and 12. After Madey and Pastore emerged on the first hole, Meyer eliminated Crawford with a par on the third extra hole (No. 12). Crawford will be conditionally exempt this season.

Finally healthy after two years of back and hip issues, the latter requiring surgery on his torn labrum, Shore played solid golf all week at the Tour’s first of four Qualifying Tournaments in capturing medalist honors and earning an exemption into all 12 PGA TOUR Latinoamérica tournaments on the 2021-22 schedule.

“This is obviously unexpected. I didn’t even look at the weather forecast until after the third round, so I didn’t know that this was a possibility,” Shore said early Saturday morning after learning of his victory “It’s definitely a little odd that it ended this way, but I’m happy that I shot that round when I did.”

When healthy, Shore was a force in amateur golf. After three American Junior Golf Association wins during his teenage years, he enrolled at the University of Alabama. In Tuscaloosa, his career never totally took off due to his injuries. He did show flashes of brilliance during his freshman and sophomore seasons, including a runner-up finish to John Augenstein at the 2018 Mason Rudolph Championship.

Shore’s play this week proves what he is capable of doing, and he’s looking forward to starting the season a month from now at the Visa Argentine Open presented by Macron in Buenos Aires.

“It’s huge to have a place to play a full season. PGA TOUR Latinoamérica is a great place to start out. There are all sorts of guys on the PGA TOUR who started out playing this Tour,” Shore added. “It means a lot. It’s a huge step as I’m just starting out my pro career.

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