Moore's putting leads to first-round 65
May 30, 2019
By Ben Everill, PGATOUR.COM
Ryan Moore interview after Round 1 of the Memorial
DUBLIN, Ohio – Ryan Moore watched with disbelief as his birdie putt did a full 360-degree loop around the cup at the par-3 4th hole at Muirfield Village before it dropped into the cup.
He was in disbelief because he’d been watching putts like it lip out all season.
But this one fell in. And he figured maybe Thursday would be his day.
And it was.
The 36-year-old five-time PGA TOUR winner shot a bogey-free 7-under 65, his career best in 49 rounds at the course, to lead the early wave.
“I don't think I've ever seen a ball go that far around the hole and go in the hole,” Moore said.
“And in the five to eight-foot range, they seemed to be lipping out (this season), and today they lipped in a couple of times.
“So it's always nice to get that stuff going and get the momentum and keep the momentum, just makes you feel better.”
Moore is currently 51st in the FedExCup standings this season, a position boosted by his runner-up finish at the season-opening Safeway Open and a third-place finish at the Valero Texas Open.
Outside of that, it has been less than stellar for a player who has averaged over five top-10s a season over the last 10 seasons. he only has one other top 25 – a T20 at THE PLAYERS.
Moore says the lip outs this season have been the problem. While he is 57th on TOUR in Strokes Gained: Putting, he ranks 156th on TOUR for putts made inside 10-feet.
On Thursday, he was 16 of 16 inside 10 feet during his 14th consecutive Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide.
“I've had two kind of really good finishes, and then a bunch of very moderate golf up around that, so I'd like to make it a little bit more consistent,” Moore admitted of his season.
“I'm a guy that can be up there, like top-5s and top-10s, and either I've had it or haven't had it this year, which is a little unusual for me.
“I kind of have to figure it out… but it's really putting consistency. I feel like I've been controlling the golf ball nicely all year… and I've had an opportunity to shoot a score every day, but I don’t make the putts that keep the momentum going. A lot of those have been lipping out.”
Moore, who last won on TOUR at the 2016 John Deere Classic, has a total of three top 10s and eight top 25s at the Memorial. He was runner up in 2007.