GREENSBORO, N.C. — Ryan Moore spent plenty of time this past week sitting around and waiting at Sedgefield Country Club. A few extra moments weren’t going to bother him.
Not with his first PGA Tour victory on the line.
Moore, a former NCAA champion out of UNLV, claimed his first win on tour with a birdie on the third hole of a sudden-death playoff to beat Kevin Stadler on Sunday at the Wyndham Championship.
"I was able to stay patient, really," Moore said. "That’s what won this one."
After vaulting up the leaderboard with five consecutive birdies on the back nine, he had two chances to seal the victory after his approach on No. 18 landed in the middle of the green and rolled to 6 feet. He sank the birdie putt for his first victory in his 112th event.
Stadler’s second shot on the third playoff hole skipped off the back of the green. He chipped within 20 feet, but his putt drifted to the low side of the cup.
That cleared the way for Moore to make his putt, pick up $918,000 and 500 FedEx Cup points for winning the final tournament before the playoffs start this week.
"This felt like an uphill battle," said Moore, who turned pro in 2005. "The whole time I’ve been on the PGA Tour, I just haven’t been healthy, haven’t felt like myself. And I really kind of got some good momentum at the U.S. Open (finishing tied for 10th), really feeling like myself again over the golf ball, and just kind of getting some confidence back in the putter and every aspect of the game. That’s really carried through to this week."
Stadler, Moore and Jason Bohn forced the playoff after the three tied at 16-under-par 264 through 72 holes. Bohn was eliminated on the first playoff hole after he had trouble escaping the greenside bunker on No. 18, with his first try rolling back into the sand.
Sergio Garcia blew a three-stroke lead midway through the final round, shot 70 and finished a stroke back at 265. His blast out of the sand on 18 missed the cup by less than an inch.
Chris Riley, another former UNLV star, struggled to a final-round 74 and finished at 11-under 269. But Riley, who was tied for the lead with Garcia at 15 under after three rounds, picked up enough points to propel himself off the bubble and into the playoffs, which begin at The Barclays. Riley jumped from No. 129 to 119th.
Moore and Stadler both bogeyed No. 18 in regulation.
Moore sailed his drive near the cart path. His second shot bounced into the sand and — after a remarkable bunker chip to 8 feet — his short par putt bent left around the hole. The younger Stadler’s third shot landed on a hill behind the green before rolling back to 8 feet from the flagstick, but he left his par putt about 6 inches short.
"I can’t play that hole," Stadler said. "I’ll just leave it at that."
Moore shot 65 in the final round and had five consecutive birdies, on Nos. 12 to 16, in moving to 17 under before his bogey on 18. He then waited as Stadler finished his final-round 66 that included birdies on 14 and 15.
Bohn — who started the round seven strokes off the lead — had a 62 that was the best round of the day. He followed birdies on seven of his first 14 holes with an eagle that pushed him to 16 under, grabbed the lead with a par on No. 16 and didn’t miss a green until No. 17.
He had about an hour’s wait — a common theme at this rain-deluged tournament — while Moore and Stadler finished their rounds.
"I wasn’t even thinking I would get in a playoff," Bohn said.
The participants in the playoff had combined for one previous PGA Tour victory: Bohn’s win in the 2005 B.C. Open.Moore delivers after brilliant amateur career
Ryan Moore’s first PGA Tour victory, coming in his fifth season as a pro, adds to the former UNLV star’s extensive resume.
Moore was a four-time All-American at UNLV, earning first-team honors in 2004 and 2005. As a junior in 2004, he won an unprecedented five major amateur titles: the NCAA Championships, the U.S. Amateur, the U.S. Amateur Public Links, the Western Amateur and the Sahalee Players Championship.
In 2005, he played nine tournaments for the Rebels, winning three, taking third in three and finishing no lower than sixth en route to winning every major player of the year honor in college golf.
"During Ryan’s Rebel career, he achieved things that no amateur player had ever done before and may never do again," UNLV men’s golf coach Dwaine Knight said Sunday. "After today, he can add PGA Tour champion next to his name, and all of us at UNLV are so proud of that."
Former UNLV players have now posted 13 PGA Tour victories, led by Adam Scott’s six titles. Chad Campbell has four, and Moore joined Charley Hoffman and Chris Riley with one apiece.
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