No fewer than 13 golfers with strong Las Vegas ties are playing in the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, and 10 of them played in the morning wave Friday, highlighted by Ryan Moore’s 7-under 64.
Moore, the 2012 Shriners champion, and fellow local Collin Morikawa are 9 under and tied for 11th after two rounds, and were leading the local contingent in the clubhouse until Kevin Na made eagles on holes 13 and 16, and then birdied 17 and 18, in the afternoon. He shot 62 and is tied for the lead at 12 under.
The Shriners is Moore’s second start of his 16th PGA Tour season and is ready to show the world he’s still a threat.
“I am at the point where I am trying to prove I can still win out here,” Moore said. “I am a competitor and I am trying to get the most out of my game every day and every week. I train and practice hard, and I am still trying to be one of the guys who will be in the mix.”
Overall, Moore has won five PGA Tour events and played on the 2014 American Ryder Cup team. He missed the cut last week at the Safeway Open, but after the first two Shriners rounds believes his game is coming into form.
“Towards the end of the round on Friday, my swing and my putting started to feel better and I started to hit the correct shots,” Moore said. “I did the things that made me feel good about coming out today. It was nice to shoot the round, but it was also nice to feel like I was going to shoot the round going into it.”
One of Vegas golf’s newest residents is the fast-rising superstar Morikawa. He hastily moved to Las Vegas over the summer following his career at Cal, and the Shriners is his 11th straight made cut since turning professional, a streak that includes a victory.
Additional players with ties to Vegas making the cut were: Adam Scott (-9), Maverick McNealy (-8), John Oda (-7), Jack Trent (-6) and Charley Hoffman (-5).
Missing the cut were: Aaron Wise (-3), Nick Watney (-2), Kurt Kitayama (-2), Scott Piercy (-1) and Wyndham Clark (E).
Freelance writer Brian Hurlburt can be reached at email@example.com or @LVGolfInsider.