In 2004, Ryan Moore, of Puyallup, Wash., became the first player to win the U.S. Amateur and U.S. Amateur Public Links championships in the same year, a feat duplicated three years later by Colt Knost. Moore, who also claimed the 2002 APL with a 10-and-9 win over Lee Williamson at The Orchards Golf Club in Washington, Mich., defeated Dayton Rose, 6 and 5, in the 2004 APL championship match at Rush Creek Golf Club in Maple Grove, Minn. Later that summer, the University of Nevada-Las Vegas All-American edged Luke List in the championship match at Winged Foot Golf Club’s West Course to claim the U.S. Amateur. That capped a remarkable year in which Moore, the 2000 U.S. Junior Amateur runner-up, also won the NCAA individual title and the Western Amateur. The 2003 USA Walker Cup Team competitor turned professional in 2005 and has won three PGA Tour events, most recently at the 2013 CIMB Classic in a playoff over Gary Woodland.
What are your memories of the APL?
I won it twice. The first time I won it, in Michigan, I was just on fire. It was kind of crazy. I think I played some of the best golf I had ever played to date, and maybe the best I've ever played. I think I was like 13 under par or 14 under par for the 27 holes we played [in the final]. It was just unbelievable how comfortable I felt that day. That one holds a special place in my heart.
How about winning a second APL two years later?
The second one, in 2004, I just played very solid, but I played pretty well that whole summer, winning the U.S. Amateur and the NCAAs. Every part of my game was good. I don't remember the score in the final, but I do remember that whole period of time being a lot of fun.
What did winning that first APL do for your confidence?
It helped my confidence and it helped me realize I could compete with anybody out there, and I could win at that level, which was something I hadn’t done at the college and amateur level yet.
What are your thoughts on the APL being retired?
I was disappointed to hear that it's going away. I was a bit shocked, but I guess I understand their reasoning behind it. Was it the right decision? I don't know. I get it. The Masters thought enough of it to give the winner a spot in the field every year, so it was obviously a good [championship]. A lot of good players have won it. A lot of good players have competed in it. I’m just sorry to see it go, especially when it has meant something special to me and my golf career.
Dave Shedloski is an Ohio-based freelance writer whose work has previously appeared on USGA websites.