October 20, 2007 (UPDATED Oc. 22)–Former UNLV All-American golfer Ryan Mooreled the FRYS Electronics Open in Arizona after two rounds, mostly due to a tweak in his swing setup he made during the previous week's FRYS.com Open, played at Las Vegas golf courses TPC Canyons and TPC Summerlin. Moore opened with rounds of 66-63 to lead by three shots heading into the weekend rounds. Moore followed it up with a 3rd-round 71 and now is three shots in back of Carl Petterson but still feels the tweak is making a difference. He fired a final-round 72 and finished in a tie for 6th behind champion Mike Weir. "It's just honestly, just a little bit more forward press in my hands, instead of sitting back fairly neutral just getting them a little bit more forward," Moore told the media following his round. "It just kind of allowed me to take back my shoulders a little bit more and get a good, solid, set position. I mean, that's it. That's the only thing that I did."
Moore says he played horrible in his hometown event and had to set himself straight to get back to playing good golf. Moore has battled a wrist injury for at least the last year, but has retained his playing status on the PGA Tour through it all.
But he has yet to win a PGA Tour event, something that seemed like it would be a foregone conclusion when he won just about every major amateur event in the summer of 2004 including the US Amateur and NCAA championship.
Other golfers with ties to Las Vegas that made the cut were Nick Watney (tied for fifth), Alex Cejka, Dean Wilson, Chris Riley, Michael Putnam, Bob May and Craig Barlow.
Read on for Moore's post third round press conference (courtesy ASAPsports.com)
Q. Disappointing to start the day with a three-shot lead and find yourself three back going into Sunday?
RYAN MOORE: Yeah, but I'm still in there. The goal of the game is to give yourself a chance on Sunday. I'm not completely out of it. Just was hanging on all day long. Couldn't get any putts to go in, and really just going to go practice and work it out for tomorrow.
Q. Speaking of tomorrow, what do you draw on? It's a place you've been a few times but what's going to putt you over the hump to get your first victory in a TOUR event?
RYAN MOORE: Ball-striking needs to stay solid and keep giving myself chances. Just going to go work out my putting like I said and be ready for tomorrow.
Q. Last Sunday at Vegas, your transformation from Saturday to Sunday you brought here this week; feel good about your position?
RYAN MOORE: Yeah, feeling good about how I'm playing right now and excited to have a chance tomorrow, and I'm feeling better than I have in a really long time.
Read on for Moore's complete post second round press conference transcript (courtesy ASAPSports.com)
DOUG MILNE: Ryan, thanks for joining us. 66 yesterday, backed it up with a 63, 7-under today. Nice playing. Just one bogey on the card today. If you could just start with a few general comments about the round.
RYAN MOORE: It was just really consistent ball-striking. Just continued from yesterday, which really has continued from last Sunday, as well.
So I just felt comfortable out there. I've played well on this golf course before. I actually won a tournament here a few years ago when I was 18.
Yeah, I just struck the ball well and gave myself a lot of chances. You know, when you're giving yourself 15 or 16 pretty decent chances throughout the day, you're going to make a few of them. So, you know, just got a few of those putts to fall and made a good score.
Q. How did you make the bogey on 17?
RYAN MOORE: Why does that have to be asked? (Laughter).
Q. Because you were on your way to the largest margin of the season until then.
RYAN MOORE: Well, I actually hit a perfect drive and then hit a shot exactly where I wanted to hit it, and landed on the very top crest of the hill. These greens are so firm, every shot has been bouncing a couple of yards. Landed on the very top of it and almost hit into the flat part of it, too, because there's that big ridge, on the right of the pin would have rolled right around to the hole. Kind of popped up in the air and stopped and started trickling backwards and rolled all the way off the green actually. Didn't even stay on the green. I pitched it up there to probably about six feet or so and hit a solid putt up there, left edge, didn't move.
Q. You would have tied Jesper for largest margin at 36 holes.
RYAN MOORE: Yeah? Oh, well. (Laughter) Tried my hardest.
Q. What was the tournament you won here?
RYAN MOORE: Thunderbird Invitational when I was 18.
Q. You've been so close, do you feel like now you're really ready and close to getting that victory that's alluded a little bit?
RYAN MOORE: I've been working through a lot of things over the last couple years, really, ever since my hand has been injured and then fixing it everything and afterwards.
So something just kind of clicked and made sense to me after the round Saturday. I played absolutely terrible last week. I played pretty good the first couple of days and just played terrible on Saturday. Just was so frustrated, I went and sat down for about 20, 30 minutes, just kind of, you know, had a coke and sat there and was like, all right, I can't take this anymore, shooting 76s on Saturday. It's just driving me crazy.
So I just really thought about it and just something started making a little bit of sense to me and went out on the range and tried it and just it's been exactly what I've been missing for the last, you know, year, really.
And it is a matter of comfort. My hand wasn't really strong enough at the beginning of this year to be able to do what I'm doing now, and it was just a minor hand position thing at address. It was nothing big, nothing in my swing really. It was just a setup position, and all of a sudden it just freed me up to be consistent again, really, and not be hitting it left and right and high, low. I was just very inconsistent for a long time, which is understandable with a hand injury.
So that's really when it started, last Sunday. Just struck the ball beautifully around the course. Didn't score that great. The short game wasn't too sharp. And then, you know, it's just continued on.
Q. Can you explain a little bit what you're talking about, was it the hand that you injured that you adjusted or the other hand?
RYAN MOORE: No, it's not my grip or anything. It's just honestly, just a little bit more forward press in my hands, instead of sitting back fairly neutral just getting them a little bit more forward. It just kind of allowed me to take back my shoulders a little bit more and get a good, solid, set position. I mean, that's it. That's the only thing that I did.
Q. You think that also relates to your wide stance, it helps your wide stance to make that little forward press move?
RYAN MOORE: Yeah, I think it all works together, you know, with my swing. That's where it had landed, and the wide stance had come from a lot of different things. There's a lot of reasons of why I do it. Just a nice, broad base and nice is solid, and I use my lower body a lot and I don't like it to move back and forth unless I rotate.
Yeah, it's made everything just all kind of click together again, and it just has not been clicking. Every day was different. It just was a little off and a little left, some days a little right, some days, you get a little shot in the wind and just couldn't penetrate the ball.
So just little stuff like that, it's just made a huge difference.
Q. Were all your birdies routine or is there anything that jumped out?
RYAN MOORE: Made a really nice long putt there on 13. That's a tough par 3. I actually was smart and hit it right in the middle of the green left of the pin, which is very difficult at times for me. But I knew that you could not stop it around that pin. There's a big bowl on the green and that's the last place you want to hit it. I hit it, I don't know, 25, 30 feet left of the hole. And both guys were fortunately just a couple feet farther than me, right on very similar lines and I watched both of them; and one missed a little left and one missed a little right and sliced it right between them.
Q. On TV you had a gigantic smile after that one. Were you thinking, "This is my day?"
RYAN MOORE: I just made a good putt. It just makes me happy. You don't see too many 30-footers, too many of those going in.
I was enjoying myself out there. I had a great group of guys playing with. I love playing with Chris and Charles both and they are both very fast and enjoyable and good conversations. They just kept me comfortable and loose. I have a new caddie; this is his second week on the bag and we are having a great time out there. I was just really enjoying myself.
Q. You were able to finish second earlier this year despite the hand problem.
RYAN MOORE: Yeah, despite it. I look back at really my entire professional career, and, you know, I don't know how I've done some of the stuff I've done with the way I've been hitting the golf ball. Somehow, you know, just lucked into a little bit of consistency here and there.
At Memorial, I was putting very well, and then I made five birdies in a row on the back nine there, 13 through 17, so that kind of helped out things as well.
So on that one, I just kind of snuck up there and just kind of came out of nowhere. I was hoping to finish in the Top-10 when I was making the turn. I was so far out of it at that point in time.
Q. You shot 63 and Hensby shot 61. Is the key to go low out there, is that the way it's going to be on the weekend?
RYAN MOORE: Honestly everything depends on the weather. If it continues to stay calm and not blow or anything, then yeah, there's good scores out there for sure. There are more difficult pins, they really can stick them in some spots, with the greens as firm as they are, there are five or six pins that you have to hit in the middle of the green or else you'll end up in a lot of trouble.
Depending on the course setup. But if you put it in the fairway, you can have in a lot of wedges and 9-irons and 8-irons in; you can be aggressive.
DOUG MILNE: Well, we talked about 13 and the bogey at 17. If we could just run through your other birdies.
RYAN MOORE: No. 3, I actually hit it pretty close on the second hole and missed it. No. 3, I knocked it just pin-high right, maybe 20, 25 feet. It was very nice to roll that one in there. That was probably 9-iron in there from about 160,162, something like that.
The next hole, hit a driver and then hit a 2-iron from about 260 or so, just right in front of the green, nice, easy pitch to probably about four or five feet short. Was able to knock that one in there.
No. 8, I actually didn't even think I hit the green on No. 8 and got a great bounce somehow and ended up in there about 18 feet or so right underneath the hole. Good read on that. That was a 9-iron off the tee there.
9, it actually was probably my best birdie of the day. I hit 3-wood off the tee there and had 222 in, which is not really how far you want to have in on that hole. I hit 5-iron from 222 and stuck it in there about four feet to a back-left pin there.
11, the par 5, I just hit driver, 3-wood pin-high left of the green about 20 or 30 yards left of the green and nice little pitch shot up there to about ten feet and made that one.
12, I hit driver and I hit pitching wedge from about 132, just right at the pin just past it and sloped back a little bit to about another 10- or 12-footer and made that one.
15, I had been hitting driver there, but went ahead and laid it up today with the pin where it was. Hit a 2-iron and then I hit just a nice little lob-wedge from about 80 yards and kind of used up the whole bank, slope, and rolled it down there to six feet, and that was it.
DOUG MILNE: Ryan, thanks for coming in. Appreciate it and best of luck this weekend.