Las Vegas, Nevada (September 10, 2010 UPDATE 9/13)–Another week, and another Las Vegas golfer sits near the top of a PGA Tour leaderboard. This week, Ryan Moore, a 4-time All-American at UNLV, was off to a fast start with a 6-under par round at the BMW Championship. Last week, fellow Rebel Charley Hoffman won the Deutshce Bank Championship. Moore is turning heads with his fashion style in addition to his play on the course, and mentioned after the round that playing in Las Vegas' PGA Tour tournament, the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, is probably in his plans this October. Moore went backwards in round two and started round three in a tie for 9th. But in the third round, he shot a 66 and will be the leader at -8 heading into the final round. Moore finished in a tie for 3rd. —By Brian Hurlburt.
Moore, who lived near Las Vegas golf course Southern Highlands for a couple years following his time at UNLV, might have raised a few eyebrows of Las Vegas golf fans when he made a comment that he is playing this week's tournament like it is his last event of the year in hopes that he will step up to the plate and qualify for next week's Tour Championship, the culmination of the FedEx Cup Playoffs. The statement had the feel that Moore might be skipping the Las Vegas event this year. "I never, ever made it to Atlanta," Moore said about the site of the Tour Championship. "You know, really at this point not really planning on it. In my mind this is my last tournament of the year and I'm just playing hard. I'm just going to see what I can do. Obviously, I have to do exactly what I am doing just to have a chance. That's kind of my mind set is I'm here to play hard and try and win a golf tournament, and wherever it falls from there, I mean, that's out of my control." e.
As a follow up, a reporter asked Moore if that meant he would be missing the Las Vegas PGA Tour event to be played October 21-24 at Las Vegas golf course TPC Summerlin. "Well, there's a good chance I'll pop back up in Vegas," said Moore. "I'm just saying that's my mind set, that's all." It's a fairly safe assumption that Moore could be part of the group of players who tee off in Hoffman's charity event that will take place the Monday of the Las Vegas PGA Tour week. Moore and Hoffman are part of a group of several former UNLV golfers who play on the PGA Tour. The list also includes Bill Lunde, Chris Riley, Skip Kendall, Chad Campbell, and Adam Scott. Other than Kendall, who played at UNLV prior to Dwaine Knight becoming the head coach, each Rebel alumnus has won a PGA Tour event, with Lunde, Scott and Hoffman all winning this year. And all, besides Kendall, made the FedEx Cup playoffs in 2010.
Moore has moved away from Las Vegas and now splits time between Arizona and his native state of Washington. But Moore will always be considered a Vegas golfer due to his stunning career at UNLV, which included the 2004 National Championship. Moore not only won that individual title, but he had one of the best stretches of amateur tournament wins in the history of the game. Moore won the U.S. Amateur, the U.S. Publinks, and several other high-level tournaments in the summer of 2004. The amazing play thrust his name in with the likes of Bobby Jones and Tiger Woods when golf historians discussed the best amateur golfers to ever tee it up. Moore fired a 29 on the back nine at Cog Hill and entered the second round one shot behind Matt Kuchar, the FedEx Cup points leader.
Moore is also becoming known for his 'flashy' fashion sense on the course, which many times includes playing in a tie. Moore says the fans love it, even if CBS' David Feherty makes jokes, continually, at his expense. "He just gets me all the time no matter what I'm wearing or doing," Moore said about Feherty. "He's one of those people; he can't help it, he's going to get you. You know, I'm surprised that I really don't get that much grief from other guys, other players, anything like that. And everybody in the crowd absolutely loves it; like everywhere I go, anywhere I've worn it, they love it. So I went over to the British Open this year after wearing it at the Masters and playing around the practice rounds, that's all the people could ask me, what my ties were going to be like that week that I was going to wear. It's funny, that was certainly not the purpose at all. I love this look. I love that golf kind of used to have that look, and I like to wear it when I can, when weather permits. That's just how I like to look. It's not for attention or anything like that. I love that's how golf used to be."
Moore is a part owner in Scratch Golf, and the 'endorsement' has added weight because Moore is also know for his ability to avoid the lure of big money by not signing major endorsement deals. Moore picked Scratch because he liked the clubs and the vision of the company. "He feels we give him the best opportunity to succeed and we feel that he will help us get our name out there," Ari Techner, president and CEO of Scratch Golf, said in a statement in 2009 when Moore joined the company. "Having a spokesman out on the PGA Tour, carrying our bag and wearing our logo, being the face of the company, is really going to be important for us. We want to get our name out there. We don't do any traditional advertising. I'm not sure there's anyone else on tour we would have considered. It's really a win-win for everybody." Moore quotes from ASAPSports.com