What did former UNLV star Ryan Moore do during the summer of 2016? Just sink the clinching putt for the U.S. in the Ryder Cup.
Moore showed up at TPC Summerlin on Wednesday with the shiny, gold Ryder Cup to share with media and fans. Similar to the tradition the NHL has with the Stanley Cup when players on the championship team get a day with it, each U.S. Ryder Cup team member gets the cup for about a week. It’s the first time the PGA of America has given the opportunity to players.
“It made sense for me to have it this week with the tournament being here,” said Moore, the 2012 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open champion. “I have a couple other corporate events going on as well. It’s fun to bring it around and share it. People who love golf get to actually hold the Ryder Cup.”
Moore also is happy to be playing in his hometown and looking to win the event for the second time. He finished tied for 15th last year.
“It’s always fun to be at home and to play in this event,” Moore said. “Obviously, it means a lot to me to have won here and having gone to UNLV.”
Moore won the NCAA individual title and the U.S. Amateur in 2004. His wife, Nichole, played soccer at UNLV, and they still live in Las Vegas.
The odds favor a young champion this week. Before 47-year-old Rod Pampling won the Shriners last year, the previous five champs were under 30. They were Smylie Kaufman (2015), Ben Martin (2014), Webb Simpson (2013), Moore (2012) and Kevin Na (2011).
A few of the under-30 players to watch include Tony Finau, Patrick Rogers, Patrick Cantlay and Bryson DeChambeau.
Fore the love
Nineteen PGA Tour pros playing this week are promoting the new Fundraise FORE Love Campaign to help raise money and awareness for the Shriners Hospitals network. When the Shriners and PGA Tour agreed on a three-year contract extension through 2020 this year, tournament executive director Adam Sperling said a key to the deal was how the Shriners’ message would be more ingrained in the tournament. This initiative is one of the new endeavors.
“What I find really exciting about the group of players who have chosen to participate in the program is how diverse their connections to the event and the cause are,” Sperling said. “Young players who are just getting their careers started have already decided that supporting worthy charitable causes is important to them, while veterans who have been exposed to so many causes throughout their years on the PGA Tour have decided that the Shriner mission is worthy of their support.”
The player ambassadors are Sam Burns, Ben Crane, Bryson DeChambeau, Charley Hoffman, Beau Hossler, Matt Jones, Kaufman, Alex Kang, Martin Laird, Hunter Mahan, William McGirt, AJ McInerney, Maverick McNealy, Troy Merritt, Taylor Moore, Na, Ryan Palmer, Jimmy Stanger and Daniel Summerhays.
To donate, visit loveshcopen.org.
Freelance writer Brian Hurlburt is a two-time author who has covered golf in Las Vegas for more than two decades. He can be reached at email@example.com or @LVGolfInsider.