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.