Ryan Moore's best friend has him playing his best golf January 10, 2010 (UPDATED JAN 11) –Las Vegas golfer Ryan Moore, who was a 4-time All-American at UNLV and who, for a time, lived in the private Las Vegas golf community of Southern Highlands, won the Wyndham Championship in 2009, and that victory qualified him for the first event of the 2010 PGA Tour season, the SBS Championship. And no matter the result of his final round, the event has been a success, and his solid play had a very Las Vegas and Rebel feel, a UNLV Rebel feel, that is. LIVE SBS RESULTS. Moore ended up finishing in a tie for 6th.

The SBS is the new version of the PGA Tour's Tournament of Champions. Moore says he is using the advice of a 'swing coach' for the first time in his career, even if he is still a bit confused about what to call his relationship with his former college teammate, Troy Denton, who has been mostly helping Moore by practicing with him and teaching him new drills. "I really practiced a lot this winter and prepared myself for this tournament," Moore told the media following his third round in Hawaii. "I started feeling more comfortable in the fall, the end of the year last year, played a couple of good fall series tournaments in Vegas and Phoenix in a row.

"I played well at the World Golf Championships in China after I started working with a new swing coach. Not really a swing coach. It was my best friend, but we just started working together and started focusing– he was helping me focus on what I needed to work on and bounce ideas back and forth. Someone to be there while I practiced and he kind of helped me work on the right things. I started working with him right before the fall series started. And we got some great things straightened out." Entering the final round of the SBS Championship, Moore was in fourth place, three shots behind Lucas Glover, and Denton was by his side.

Denton and Moore shared four years together while playing for the nationally-ranked UNLV Rebel golf team under Hall-of-Fame Head Coach Dwaine Knight. Moore had one of the best amateur seasons in history during 2004 when he won the NCAA title, U.S. Amateur and several other high-level amateur events. Denton's career was nowhere near the level of Moore's, but the two formed a bond. Denton is from Texas while Moore hails from Washington and was a 4-time All-American at UNLV.

The Las Vegas golf region is home to no fewer than 30 pros who play the major tours who have strong ties to Las Vegas golf courses. Moore now splits time in Scottsdale, Arizona, and the Seattle area, but following his career at UNLV he lived in a house in the prestigious Southern Highlands community, home to Southern Highlands Golf Club, the home course of the UNLV Rebel men's golf team. the layout is alos a former host course for Las Vegas' PGA Tour event, now called the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. The Las Vegas event is part of the Fall Series that Moore referred to in the previous quote, and he finished in a tie for 7th in Las Vegas in 2009. He then finished 8th at the FRYS.com Open the next week before earning a 3rd place finish at the HSBC Championships in China, those solid results coming soon after he and Denton started working together.

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"I can't even call him a swing coach," said Moore. "I'm not even sure. He has a funny name for what he calls himself. We haven't changed my swing. We're not trying to manipulate and change this angle, that angle, whatever. We just worked on really simple things. Some of the stuff he picked up on, I would have never picked up on it. Some chipping things that he made me do and some drills he made me chip one handed, left handed, until I couldn't stand it. At first it really bothered my left hand, my wrists, and it hurt. I was pretty weak. And going through it a good couple months now, I can sit there and do it and it doesn't bother me at all. It helped to strengthen it and get (me in) better position over the ball. I didn't really think that was missing.

Denton's biggest value to Moore could be breaking up the monotony of the long hours of practice that is needed to be one of the world's best players. "It's no fun to be sitting there and chipping for two hours by yourself to be honest," said Moore. "It's no fun to be hitting 5-footers over and over again. It's amazing to have somebody to talk to, somebody to joke around with. Somebody to make sit up there and hit putts, me watch it and take my mind off of what I am doing for a few minutes. It's amazing how much more quality work you can get done. That's what I started seeing. How much that would help me. Someone to be there. That's what I had in college. And I thrive really well in those circumstances."


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