Why you should expect more Ryan Moore victories on the PGA Tour

By Tom LaMarre, The Sports Xchange
Looks like Ryan Moore is just getting started. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI
Looks like Ryan Moore is just getting started. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

Ryan Moore might finally be ready to become a big star.

Make no mistake, Moore is in the midst a very good career on the PGA Tour with five victories, including two in the CIMB Classic, which starts Thursday at TPC Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia.


However, the 33-year-old is playing probably the best golf of his career since winning the John Deere Classic in August. He posted three top-10 finishes in the FedExCup playoffs and claimed the winning point for the United States in the Ryder Cup.

"Great last few months here," said Moore, who lost to Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy on the fourth playoff hole in the Tour Championship and tied for seventh in the final FedExCup standings.

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"I just like that my game is trending the right direction. ... I'm excited to go play these fall tournaments. My game's in a good place. I like where it's at. Like I said, mentally, physically, everything is kind of going the right direction. That's something to get a lot of confidence out of."


This was the kind of play that was expected from Moore when he came out of UNLV after winning the NCAA championship and the U.S. Amateur in 2004.

The only players to pull off that double previously were Jack Nicklaus in 1961, Phil Mickelson in 1990 and Tiger Woods in 1996, and Bryson DeChambeau did it last year.

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Moore's 2004 amateur season is one of the best in history, as he also won the Western Amateur, the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship and the Sahalee Players Championship at famed Sahalee Country Club, about an hour from his childhood home of Puyallup, Wash.

Then, when he got to the PGA Tour in 2005, he earned $686,250 in 14 official events -- the equivalent of 113th on the money list -- and became the first player since Woods in 1996 to go from college to the PGA Tour in the same season without going to Qualifying School.

Stardom didn't come as quickly in the pros, as he didn't win until the 2009 Wyndham Championship in a playoff over Jason Bohn and Kevin Stadler.


It was three more years before he captured the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in his adopted hometown of Las Vegas, and then he won the CIMB Classic in 2013 and 2014.

That was it until his recent run, but other golfers on the PGA Tour know how good he is, and can be.

"He's a fantastic player," McIlroy said after it took him four extra holes to shake off Moore in the Tour Championship. "He's been playing well for a long time, for a few months now. He's just such a gritty competitor. He even showed with the putts he held coming down the stretch. That putt he holed on the fourth playoff hole to at least make me hole mine. ...

"You look at his match-play record in amateur golf as well and some of the stuff he's done and he's accomplished, I mean, he's a great player. He's gritty. He's a competitor. He doesn't quite have the length that some of us do, but he definitely makes up for it in different areas of his game. I was really impressed with him today."

All the Europeans were impressed with Moore when he posted a 2-1-1 record in the Ryder Cup after being the final player selected to the team, the fourth captain's pick by Davis Love III.


Moore was 2 down to Ryder Cup veteran Lee Westwood of England in Sunday singles before finishing birdie-eagle-par to win the last three holes and pull out a 1-up victory.

And he was unaware that was the winning point before his wife, Nicole, told him right before he was mobbed by several teammates behind the 18th green.

"I was not paying attention at all to that being the clinching point," Moore said. "I didn't want to get distracted. I thought, 'Oh, really? That's pretty cool.' ...

"It was like (Brandt) Snedeker told me, 'That's why you got picked, man. What you did today, that's why we wanted you on our team.' Hearing stuff like that is pretty cool."

Based on the way he is playing, there figures to be Moore cool stuff coming.

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