April 28, 2008–Ryan Moore was what Adam Scott could've been had he elected to finish out his entire collegiate golf career at UNLV instead of only playing for 1.5 seasons under Hall-of-Fame coach Dwaine Knight. But Scott (pictured) is what Moore aspires to be now that both are PGA Tour players. Scott–so far–has accomplished much more as a professional. Over the weekend, Scott held on in a playoff at the EDS Byron Nelson Championship in Texas to prevent Moore from earning his first professional victory. For Scott, it was win number six on the PGA Tour, and increased his career earnings to $17.9 million. Moore has earned "just" $4.2 million. But in college, Moore won every tournament that mattered in 2004 (the U.S. Amateur, U.S. Public Links, NCAA Championship, Western Amateur and Sahalee Players Championship, etc) and left UNLV the following year as the best Rebel ever, and as one of the best college golfers in history. But now he plays for cash and wants to reach Scott's pro level. Read on for complete post-round quotes from both Scott and Moore. Each played and practiced at many of the best Las Vegas golf courses while at UNLV.
"You know, it's one of those things where I am where I am and I'm happy with it," said Moore about the overall status of his game and career, plus his finish in the event. "I'm just trying to keep moving forward. Obviously some injuries and whatnot have held me back, and it's been a little frustrating at times, but at the same time, you know, maybe that's given me the time I need to work on things I need to work on to win more tournaments in the long run. You know, that's kind of how I like to view things. I'm where I am right now, and I'm happy about it. I just went head-to-head against one of the best players in the world, and he had to make a 45-footer to beat me. That's a good place to be."
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Scott sank a 48-foot birdie putt on the 3rd playoff to win and leave Moore still searching.
Moore jumped to number 36 on the PGA Tour money list with the runner-up check and also to number 23 in the United State Ryder Cup points standings. Moore has battled hand and shoulder injuries during his 3.5-year career. Moore still lives in Las Vegas in the community of Southern Highlands, where he plays and practices at the private Southern Highlands Golf Club, the home of the UNLV Men's Golf Team.
Click here for Ryan Moore's complete post-round comments
As Moore stated, Scott, who hails from Australia but lives in Switzerland, is one of the best players in the world, and is said to be a guy who can challenge Tiger Woods' supremacy, but hasn't completely broken through, despite winning several high-profile tournaments including the six PGA Tour wins plus eight international victories. But these days it's all about winning majors and Scott is still looking for his first. Some say he needs to show a little more emotion and tenacity, but Scott says he plays as hard as anyone and is continually working to improve his short game.
"I struggle to bring that out to show people," Scott said when asked about his "apprarent" laid back playing attitude. "I don't play well if I get too pumped up, if I don't bring myself back down to hit a shot. It doesn't come out. I was grinding inside today. I was playing hard. I wasn't going to let it slip. I felt like I worked hard all week. You know, I think, sure, I can improve in my short game, but I think — no, I don't have Tiger Woods' short game or Phil Mickelson's short game for that matter. You're looking at the two best in the world, and that might be a reason why they're the two best in the world. I've seen such a huge improvement in my short game in the last couple years. I mean, I'd put it up against anyone else day-to-day other than those couple guys."
Click here to view Adam Scott's complete post-tournament comments
Scott jumped to 9th place on the PGA Tour money list with the win, his first of the season.