Ryan Moore captured his second career victory on Sunday in Las Vegas.
By Bill Cooney, PGATOUR.COM
Ryan Moore won’t be celebrating this victory by himself.
With family and friends cheering him on, Moore carded a final-round, 5-under 66 and outlasted Brendon de Jonge on the back nine to win the J.T. Shriners Hospitals for Children Open on Sunday for his second career victory on the PGA TOUR.
“It’s been an unbelievable week,” Moore said. “I’ve had such great support with my family and friends out here.”
Moore said he had few friends with him during his first win at the 2009 Wyndham Championship. Clearly, this was different. Moore is a Las Vegas resident and was a four-time All-American at UNLV.
With their help, Moore broke the tournament scoring record at 24-under 260, set last year by Kevin Na.
Moore credited his putting — and a first-round 61 certainly helped, too.
“I was making them dead center,” said Moore, who finished second on the week in strokes gained-putting. “I got a lot of confidence early in the week just the way I was rolling it. Just kind of kept rolling through the whole week.”
The deciding hole was the 560-yard 16th hole, with Moore making a birdie 4 to take the lead for good. Moore ripped a second-shot 4-iron from 233 yards onto the back fringe of the green. He hit a delicate putt to within a foot of the hole en route to birdie.
Meanwhile, de Jonge hit his drive in the right rough and it came to rest behind a small tree. He had to chip out to the fairway — leaving him a long 9-iron approach on the par 5. De Jonge liked the way he hit his birdie putt on No. 17, but it didn’t drop.
“I mean, that was huge,” Moore said of No. 16. “Obviously Brendon was in a little bit of trouble there. I didn’t know to what extent. I didn’t know if he had a chance and hit it way up the fairway and had to come out. I wasn’t really paying attention to that. I just knew that was my chance to make an eagle or a birdie to keep moving forward and to keep putting pressure.”
On the 444-yard 18th, Moore’s approach landed about 12 feet from the hole. Trailing by one, de Jonge needed to dial up something special. But his approach from 145 yards came to rest about 30 feet from the hole. De Jonge would two-putt for par before Moore did the same for the win.
But the 16th was the difference, and it was too much to overcome for de Jonge.
“I hit a poor tee shot,” de Jonge, still looking for his first win on the PGA TOUR, said of No. 16. “That was definitely the turning point for me. … I’ll build on it. It’s disappointing but I’ll get over it pretty quickly. It was fun out there.”
Rookie Jonas Blixt (70) was third at 20 under, while Jason Day — who carded a tournament record-tying 28 on the front nine — placed fourth at 18 under after double-bogeying his final hole. Bill Lunde (66) was fifth at 15 under.
- Ryan Moore
- Brendon de Jonge