David Gossett's week at the John Deere Classic wrapped up early. He missed the cut, and the scoreline tells it all:
Gossett finished in dead last among all players who completed two rounds, a full 13 strokes behind the next-to-last finisher.
Who are you, and what have you done with the real David Gossett? It happens from time-to-time on the PGA Tour: a player suddenly loses his game. When it happens to a star - Ian Baker-Finch or David Duval, for example - everyone talks about it. When it happens to someone like David Gossett, almost nobody talks about it. The player just slowly ... fades ... away.
Just a couple years ago, Gossett was one of the brightest newcomers to the PGA Tour. In 1999, while still at the University of Texas, Gossett won the Big 12 Championship and the U.S. Amateur Championship.
He turned pro in 2000 and joined the PGA Tour in 2001. That year, he won the John Deere Classic (which is how he got into this year's event). He had a couple top 10s in 2002 and easily finished in the Top 125 on the money list to retain his card. In 2003, he improved his standing on the money list to 84th.
Gossett wasn't setting the world on fire, but he was a young player with an amateur championship and a PGA Tour victory. Everyone expected his game to develop in a good direction.
Instead, it went in the opposite direction. The bottom fell out in 2004. He made only two cuts in 25 PGA Tour events, winning only $21,250. And he wasn't missing cuts but just a little: Only once in those 25 events did he finish his tournament under par. His scores included a +26, +23, +16 and +15 showings.
It hasn't improved in 2005. Gossett lost his PGA Tour card, so he's played four times on the Nationwide Tour. He hasn't made a cut. In fact, he hasn't shot below 74 in any of his eight rounds.
Prior to the 2005 John Deere, Gossett told his hometown newspaper, the Memphis Commercial Appeal, "I've been hitting the ball better. I obviously have good memories playing here ... so I'm just going to go tee it up."
Sadly, these days, memories are all that Gossett has of a golf game that got away.