Ryan Moore of Puyallup, Wash. clinched the winning point for the United States in a 17-11 victory over Europe to cap the Americans’ biggest rout in 35 years at the Ryder Cup.
The two-time PNGA Men’s Player of the Year is just the third Northwest player to play in Ryder Cup.
Moore’s come-from-behind, 1-up victory over Lee Westwood gave the cup back to this side of the Atlantic for the first time since 2008.
“I have no words right now,” Moore said minutes after the win. “It was incredible to be where I was a week ago and then to go on to win the last point for the Ryder Cup, it’s pretty amazing.”
Westwood led Moore 2-up with only three holes to play and Moore promptly shot 3-under with an eagle on hole No. 16, a birdie on 17, and a par on 18. As Moore finished his match, he wasn’t aware that his win would clinch the whole event.
“I had no idea,” Moore said. “I was just trying to get points on the board, that was all I was doing.”
Moore went 2-1 for the week in his first Ryder Cup appearance and really enjoyed the camaraderie of his team, especially as they celebrated their winning moment together on the 18th green.
“There’s nothing like it, to be able to win but win for your country and for your team and your captains,” Moore said. “There’s so much more to it than week in and week out what we do on Tour. It’s been a blast and I’m just proud to be on this team.”
Fellow teammate Brandt Snedeker was proud of Moore, and made that apparent during the team press conference afterward. As Moore answered a question, Snedeker interrupted and said, “You’re only as good as your 12th man and there he is right there.”
Moore was the final man on the team, being added to the team on Sept. 25 as the final captain’s pick. After Moore nearly won The Tour Championship – the final event in the FedExCup Playoffs – falling in the fourth sudden-death playoff hole to Rory McIlroy, Captain Davis Love III called Moore to tell him he’d been selected as a captain’s pick, filling the last spot on the U.S. team.
And now that he’s tasted one Ryder Cup, he’s aspiring to some lofty goals with this event moving forward.
“It’s something I want to be a part of every single year,” Moore said. “I love my teammates, I love my captain and we had such a great time this week. It was such an amazing atmosphere and the crowd was just loving it and it was incredible.”
Moore is just the third player from the Northwest to be selected to play in the Ryder Cup. Seattle-native Fred Couples played in five Ryder Cups (1989, 1991, 1993, 1995, 1997), and Tacoma-native Ken Still played in the 1969 Ryder Cup.
During his professional career, which began in 2005 after graduating from the University of Nevada-Las Vega, Moore so far has five PGA TOUR victories and 58 top-10 finishes.
But it was his play as an amateur by which Moore made his name.
During an epic 2004 season, following his junior year at UNLV, Moore received national attention when he set a new standard in amateur golf by winning five major amateur championships, a feat that may never be matched. He captured the U.S. Amateur, the NCAA individual title, the U.S. Amateur Public Links (which he also won in 2002), the Western Amateur and the Sahalee Players Championship, becoming the first golfer to ever win all five events in the same year.
Moore was selected as the PNGA Men’s Player of the Year in 2002 and 2004 (and also the PNGA Junior Boys’ Player of the Year in 2000).