USGA Champion Earns Low Amateur Honors At Masters
April 10, 2005
By Dave Shedloski
AUGUSTA, Ga. - Reigning U.S. Amateur champion Ryan Moore was pleased to be the low amateur finisher in the 69th Masters Tournament, but he wasn't overly impressed with himself.
|Moore, putting during last year's U.S. Amateur, shot 2-under 70 on Sunday. (John Mummert/USGA) |
"It's nice. It means a lot. It's a big part of the tradition here," said the 22-year-old Moore Sunday after he fired a roller-coaster final-round 70 and finished his second Masters below par with a 287 aggregate score.
Moore, who ended up tied for 13th - the same finish posted last year by Casey Wittenberg when he won low amateur honors - pointed out, however, that being the low amateur wasn't his primary objective.
"What did I really do? I didn't win the tournament," he said. "I finished in the red; I really wanted to do that, but I have a long way to go."
Eight-time USGA champion Tiger Woods earned his fourth Masters title after outlasting Chris DiMarco in a playoff.
Moore and U.S. Amateur runner-up Luke List completed their third rounds Sunday morning at Augusta National Golf Club and then played 18 more in the afternoon, and both distinguished themselves with their efforts on a sun-splashed day by shaking off poor scores.
After playing one hole to cap off a 77 Sunday morning List, a 20-year-old sophomore at Vanderbilt University, rebounded with a 2-under-par 70 to end up at 6-over-par 294. That was good for a tie for 33rd out of 50 players who made the 36-hole cut. Moore, meanwhile, had to go seven holes early to shoot 75.
|List came away impressed after playing in his first Masters. (John Mummert/USGA)|
List put a little pressure on Moore by posting his score earlier. He couldn't have been happier with the result or the experience he gained, though he wasn't looking forward to returning to school, saying, "It's not hitting me yet; I'm not going to let it hit me yet.
"It was the experience of a lifetime," added List, who had friends from school on the grounds to watch his final round. "I learned something each day I played here. I believe I can win the green jacket someday. I felt comfortable all week."
Moore, the first player to win the U.S. Amateur and U.S. Public Links Championship in the same year, declared early in the week that he was ready to win the Masters this year. But his real goal was to finish high enough - top 16 - to earn another invitation to Augusta National.
He did just that with his last birdie, an 18-footer set up by a 7-iron from 180 yards. It was his seventh birdie of the final round against five bogeys. It capped an inspired comeback, too. He bogeyed three of the first six holes before birdies on the last three holes of the front nine got him back on track.
He said he would be a professional when he returns for the 70th edition in '06.
"I tried to earn my way back for next year," said Moore, of Puyallup, Wash., who also holds the Western Amateur and NCAA titles. "I wasn't worried about being low amateur. I just wanted to get my self back in the field - when I'm a pro."
That distinction is likely to be initiated after he competes in the British Open at St. Andrews. He does not plan defend his U.S. Amateur title.
"As far as I'm concerned I've done everything I could possibly do as an amateur," he said. "I've wanted everything I've wanted to win. I don't see the point of going back. My first goal of the summer is trying to get my PGA Tour card."
Dave Shedloski is a free-lance writer.