By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
ATLANTA -- When the FedExCup Playoffs began, Ryan Moore was hardly a shoo-in to make the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola.
He ranked 64th in the standings, and Moore needed a tie for 10th at the BMW Championship two weeks ago just to sneak into the top 30. Once Moore got to East Lake, though, he made the most of the opportunity -- owning a share of the lead on the back nine Sunday and finishing in a tie for third.
Moore pulled even with Brandt Snedeker at 9 under when he made consecutive birdies at the 14th and 15th holes. Then he began to unravel, making three straight bogeys coming home.
“I was excited to kind of get in the mix, and at least make it a little interesting there for a while,” Moore said. "It just came down to the last three holes. They're tough golf holes, and I didn't hit good shots on them.
“So they'll sneak up on you really quick if you don't put them in the right spots, and unfortunately, that's what got me."
That said, Moore couldn't be too disappointed. He led the field in fairways hit, which was key this week t East Lake -- and for Moore, in particular -- and shot par or better all four rounds on a course that flummoxed some of the game's best.
"I can't launch it high and soft out of the rough," Moore said. "So I have to be in the fairway. … This whole week I viewed it as a bonus. I was 64th going into the FedExCup, and just to even be here was a big accomplishment, let alone to have a top five here at the end of the season.”
Moore feels the key to his late-season surge -- he finished 10th or better in the last three Playoffs events -- was his putter. At the same time. the UNLV grad went back to basics and started trusting himself, rather than obsessing about his game.
"I kind of just embraced a little bit of who I am as a golfer
these last four weeks, and I just played golf," Moore said. "I
wasn't thinking about my swing. ... It's like sometimes
you've just got to go play. … Just play hard this last
month going into the off season, and then you've got a couple of
months to go work on some things and get some stuff straightened
"But it gave me some confidence that I don't need to do that much and I can be right there and in contention. ... Just by playing my own game, playing golf, how Ryan Moore plays golf. That's encouraging and something to build on."