SAN DIEGO – Mike Davis better show up, keep up, and shut up on Saturday morning.
The U.S. Golf Association CEO, who is ending his 32-year run with the association later this month, is on the bag for colleague Jason Gore in the third round of the 121st U.S. Open at the Torrey Pines South Course.
With 71 professionals surviving the 36-hole cut, Gore, the winner of seven Korn Ferry Tour tournaments and one PGA Tour title, is stepping in to serve as a marker and play in the first pairing with 19-year-old Akshay Bhatia.
Gore is no stranger to U.S. Open competition and playing on the weekend. At the 2005 U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2, Gore played in the final group on Sunday with Retief Goosen. Dubbed the Prince of Pinehurst for his jovial nature, Gore shot 84 and finish tied for 49th.
Gore, 47, attempted to qualify for this year’s U.S. Open, playing at the Dallas final qualifying site on May 24.
“I miss competition,” he told Global Golf Post that day. “But I don’t miss stinking.”
Gore hung up his spikes in 2019 and joined the USGA as its first-ever USGA player relations director. He gained a big vote of confidence from none other than Phil Mickelson, who said on Friday, “I think Jason Gore is the greatest asset the USGA has. I think he’s done a lot of really good things. I saw it last week or two at Olympic Club. I really like him, and I think he does a great job.”
Davis, 56, who has served the USGA for 32 years, beginning with overseeing ticket sales and transportation, became the association’s seventh executive director in 2011 and the USGA’s first CEO in 2016. He has served many roles at the U.S. Open, including for many years being responsible for the course setup, but this will be his first time as a caddie. He announced last year plans for his next venture: joining Tom Fazio II in a new golf architecture firm called Fazio & Davis Golf Design.
Mike Whan, the former LPGA Commissioner, was announced earlier this year as Davis’s replacement.