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May 4 2012

8:35 PM

Penalty doesn’t rattle Moore

Interview: Ryan Moore

Following his second-round 70, Ryan Moore meets with the media and talks about the difference between his first two rounds.

By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Tiger Woods wasn't the only player who had an unusual ruling on Friday.

Ryan Moore's didn't work out as well for him as Woods' did, either. But even with the penalty stroke at the 11th hole, Moore is still in the tournament, three shots off the lead, after shooting a second-round 70.

Moore's ball moved after he addressed a 12-inch putt for par which put him in violation of Rule 18-2b. But since an outside agency didn't cause the ball to move -- as was the case for Webb Simpson at last year's Zurich Classic, which prompted a tweak to the rule during the offseason -- Moore was assessed a penalty stroke.

"The (exception) refers to if a wind or an outside agency like a bee or a fly on the green had caused his ball to move, we can get him out if he's virtually certain that he didn't cause it, it was the wind or the beetle or the fly," said PGA TOUR rules official Steve Rintoul. "But in this case we've got no wind, we've got nothing else down there, and the decision specifically refers to gravity.

"If a ball moves because of gravity, that's just part of the game, just settled. That's what happened to Ryan, the ball just settled, unfortunately, right after he addressed it."

Moore actually thought he was in the clear, given the rule change last year. Turns out he wasn't, but he's still in the hunt for the second win of his career -- and the second one in North Carolina. Moore won the 2009 Wyndham Championship in Greensboro, which is about 90 miles down the interstate from Charlotte.

"The ball moved, and not because of me setting into it," Moore said. "My putter face was about ten inches away from it. But because I had addressed the ball, it somehow was a penalty on me. I thought that was the whole point of the rule change after Webb Simpson's incident last year I thought was to alleviate that because I certainly did not make the ball move, and I thought that was the whole point of the rule change.
   
"It's unfortunate that they somehow changed the rules without really changing it. I don't know how they did that. But yeah, at the end of the day, it's a little frustrating, ending up one shot worse than I really played. But I'm still really happy with how I'm playing and looking forward to the weekend."

Moore said he didn't let the ruling rattle him. He played his next seven holes in even par, making one birdie and one bogey.

"For me there's absolutely nothing you can do about it until the round is over," he said. "I just got my head right back in it, hit a good one the next hole, hit a good second shot right up in there and made a birdie, so that was a nice way to bounce back. Had a good, solid finish to the day."

Moore has been extremely solid tee to green this week at Quail Hollow, too. He's hit 19 of 298 fairways and 29 of 36 greens in regulation.

"I'm happy with my round," Moore said. "I'm happy with how I played. Obviously I played one shot better than I scored at the end of the day, so that's a little frustrating.  But I hit the ball well again today, putted it really solid, and I'm really looking forward to the weekend."

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