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Las Vegas veteran rallies to secure PGA Tour card for 2024

Updated November 29, 2023 - 9:52 am

Las Vegas golfer Ryan Moore, when he posts on social media, tends to use #MooreGolfAhead to finish his thoughts.

That’s exactly what’s on the horizon in 2024 after Moore was one of the stars for the PGA Tour’s fall season, rallying over the final seven tournaments to secure his playing privileges for next year.

His chances were slim as September arrived. Moore sat at No. 150 in the points standings and needed to reach the top 125 to earn full exempt status for next season. A tie for 13th at his hometown Shriners Children’s Open in October got things moving in the right direction. He then tied for fifth the second-to-last event in Bermuda and finished in a tie for eighth the season finale in Georgia in November. That vaulted Moore to No. 118 and full status for another year, which will be his 20th on tour.

It wasn’t easy. The most successful player in UNLV history felt the nerves trying to hold his position the final day in Georgia.

“I’m not gonna lie, it was close to what I felt trying to win a golf tournament coming down the stretch,” Moore said. “It means a lot. It meant a lot to me.”

The ability to play week after week to pursue his playing card was a testament to Moore’s health. He has fought back issues for many years, limiting him to just 16 starts each of the previous three seasons. But he felt good for most of 2023 and played a career-best 30 events.

“Obviously, I’m proud of myself for just keeping on grinding and keep fighting through it,” Moore said. “There was a lot of times this year where I actually felt pretty good physically a lot of the year, but just the game was not there.”

Moore made some changes as fall arrived, adding a new caddie and a new putter, the latter with an assist from his 7-year-old son Sullivan. Moore recalled wanting to make a putter change during the Shriners and turned to his son for advice.

“We had it narrowed down to like two or three putters that looked pretty good, and my 7-year-old was out there, Sully, and I was like, ‘Hey buddy, which one you like better?’ He walked over, kind of examined them. He was like, ‘That one.’ I was like, ‘I’m committing to it,’” Moore said.

The plan worked. The five-time winner now has control of his 2024 schedule. Finishing outside the top 125 would have left Moore with conditional status, meaning he could only get into a limited number of tournaments.

“As someone with a family that likes to spend as much time at home as I can, just being able to plan out your weeks is huge,” he said. “At least now I have a little bit of control over the start of my year and the tournaments I’m going to play.”

Moore turns 41 next week, and he has no illusions about his status in the game. He noted consistency is what has carried him for 20 years.

“I’m not a guy that’s always up there winning golf tournaments, but I’ve won a handful,” Moore said. “Just weeks like (Georgia), I feel like I can go out and have a good shot at taking top-10 a lot of tournaments each year.”

Chip shots

■ Atomic Golf, the golf entertainment facility opening early next year near the Strat, is conducting a series of hiring fairs as it ramps up. The company is planning to hire more than 500 full-time and part-time workers. The four-story facility will have more than 100 golf bays, eight putting bays, six full-service bars, food and more. To schedule an interview, visit atomicgolf.com.

■ The Southern Nevada Golf Association will host a free rules seminar for members Tuesday at Wildhorse Golf Course in Henderson. Registration and breakfast begins at 8 a.m., with the 90-minute seminar starting at 8:30 a.m. Register at SNGA.org.

Greg Robertson covers golf for the Review-Journal. Reach him at grobertson@reviewjournal.com.

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