Ryan Moore won the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas by shooting 24-under par and holding off Brendon de Jonge by one stroke and rookie, Jonas Blixt, by four.
It was an important win because it was his second one. It was the validation win. I remember Lee Janzen’s tears streaming down his face after his second U.S. Open win in 1998. When they asked him why he was crying, he said it was because the win, “proved I knew what I was doing.”
And it’s never too far away from good players’ minds:
Of course I would have liked it to come a little sooner and a little bit more often, but I’m a multiple winner on Tour now. I think that’s huge for me and my career and moving forward.
It’s all part of building confidence for them. It’s all part of pumping up the ego lest faith in their spiritual essence — that larger sense of themselves and their true source of power — fail them.
He also mentioned — prominently — that when he won the 2009 Wyndham Championship in Charlotte, North Carolina, he was alone. But because he lives in Las Vegas, not this time:
Yeah, I mean, this has just been an unreal week just having my entire family here, both my side and my wife’s entire family. You know, to go out and actually play that well, this is a really important event for me.
I had to take a lot more pictures, that’s for sure, after this one. You know, everybody had their phone out, “One more, one more.”
But this was an amazing week. It really was. I mean, sometimes I’ll have maybe my parents and one of my brothers out, and even both of my brothers, my older brother’s family and his two children. You know, my sister came out this week.
Just to have everybody here be involved and be able to all go out to dinner tonight and celebrate. And then on top of it, my wife’s entire family that have adopted me pretty well over the last couple years. To have them all out and having a great time, it was a perfect week.
And on family issues, there was one last big one, he and his wife are going to have their first child. And with this win, his year is over:
You know, I’m excited for the off‑season. Having my baby here in about 25 days, and really excited for next year. It was a great way to go out.
Obviously great feelings in the last five, six weeks. Three Top 10s in a row leading into this with a chance to win the TOUR Championship and then to cap it off with a win here, I mean, couldn’t finish off my season any better.
And there was also the distinction of having been the first UNLV graduate to win the Las Vegas PGA Tour stop:
It’s huge I think for any of us that were involved in the program. Unfortunately the [UNLV golf team] was gone this week. They’re playing a tournament up in Ohio, Muirfield Village.
But, yeah, I mean, I think it means a lot to the program and for the program just to have somebody come through it and come back and win this event. It hasn’t happened yet, so I’m excited that I’m the one that did it.
For him, the shot he will always remember from this tournament was the second shot he hit on the 16th hole. It’s a par-5 and because of the large pond fronting the green, the shot had to carry all the way to the front of the green. The media wanted to know if he remembered what he was thinking about? Was he totally focused on the shot?
No, I mean, my caddie was pretty good there. We had our numbers. It was about 208 to the front and 234 to the pin. He just said a few times, “That’s the perfect club. Just hit it.”
And it was. I had a 4‑iron, and I knew that was plenty to carry that water. At worst it would just chase through the green kind of where it got to on the back fringe.
I just picked a good target and said, “Fine, it’s time to hit a golf shot.” I mean, there was no way around it.
Any time you win, you come to some point where you just got to hit a shot and it all rides on that.
This one was critical because it was his last, and therefor, winning birdie. And as to where he would rank this shot?
…That’s pretty high up there. I hit a good shot when I won the playoff at the Wyndham. I stuck it in there about 10 feet on the third playoff hole. That was pretty good one.
I would say honestly the one in the FedExCup in Indiana at the BMW, just to make a birdie to lock in my chance to get in, those are probably three of my better shots I’ve ever hit.
But this one, because it resulted in winning a golf tournament, it’s if not the best, pretty high up there.
And with a year that won him $2.9 million, so is his game. And now he believes it too.