home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


August 22, 2004

Ryan Moore


PETE KOWALSKI: We have the 2004 U.S. Amateur Champion, Ryan Moore, with us.

Ryan, if you could give us a recap of where it went good for you after it had been not so good going from your deficit at 4-down and coming back to take the championship.

RYAN MOORE: Well, it wasn't looking too good for me for a really long time, actually.

I started out, I played pretty solid in the morning, 18, nothing great. Just wasn't making a lot of putts, but I wasn't too panicked about it. My putter usually comes around eventually, sometimes too late, but fortunately this time it came around just in time.

Going into that back side, I knew I had to turn it up a notch. I had to just make some birdies, which is not exactly easy to do on this golf course. He was playing so solid that I knew he wasn't going to make a lot of bogeys, if any at all and I knew I was going to have -- the only way I could win holes was to make birdies. Just coming down the stretch there, I got it to 1-up and then he made a heck of a birdie there on 13. That was just a phenomenal golf shot and a great putt, under pressure. He kind of answered me back after I had gotten a couple of holes on him there.

Let's see, then I guess where it turned would be 15. He hit a great shot in there, a really clutch shot into about eight feet or so. I was able to hit another solid shot on top from probably nine or ten feet. I was pretty happy, fortunate to get to putt first and be able to apply the pressure to be able to make a putt.

I've been close all day, and I knew I was going to make some putts coming down the stretch. When I'm burning edges, it's just a matter of time, but for them to start falling in, that's what happened there. I hit a real solid putt and he just missed his. It wasn't an easy putt, quite a bit of left-to-right in it, and he just missed his. And the next hole, just missed another one pretty solid putt again, but lipped it out.

Then coming down 17, I knew I had to make a birdie. That was my mindset. I knew I had to birdie 17 and 18 both. That's just the way I was thinking the whole way coming down. I was just able to execute golf shots. I was just trying to keep it one shot at a time, not get ahead of myself and not behind myself either, thinking about missed opportunities earlier in the day. I just want to focus. I was in the moment and just executed six really good golf shots coming down the line -- I guess it was five because I didn't get to putt on the last hole. But that's what it came down to.

PETE KOWALSKI: The obvious question, you kind of just go past it by saying you executed golf shots, but you just won the U.S. Amateur by executing those golf shots. How did that happen?

RYAN MOORE: You know, I'm not really sure. Wish I could bottle it up and save it, whatever that was.

You know, I just, my swing had felt good all week, all day. I was close here and there. My caddie and I decided that I was going to start hitting right at the pin because I kept aiming at things trying to work it off of it to the pin and I kept hitting it right at it instead of working it to the pin.

So, eventually we're just like, all right, let's just start hitting at the pin and that's what I started doing. I started being a little bit more aggressive and taking a line at it. You got to see the pins earlier so you understood maybe how to work it off of some slopes and that's kind of what I did on 17. I saw earlier that if I just put a little cut in there, that thing would just peel and run around there right next to the hole and I was able to do it.

I guess the tee shots were both really solid tee shots. I guess that was probably the start of it, just to be able to step up and just confidently just rip it. This driver was feeling good all week, it was a new driver for me, and obviously it works.

PETE KOWALSKI: You've now put yourself into the USGA record book again in historic fashion with winning the Public Links and the Amateur in the same year. Only four other people in the whole history of the USGA have won two events in the same year so, you're in great company. So how do you quantify that, how do you -- what do you feel about that?

RYAN MOORE: I don't know, it's hard to put that into words. It's been a goal of mine. I had a chance, 2002 after winning the Public Links and was playing solid going in there. [] I just kind of stumbled my quarterfinal match, didn't play real well and he played real solid and lost there.

That kind of fired me up there and I really wanted to give myself a chance to maybe do that again. I really wanted to win them both this summer coming in. Obviously, I want to win every tournament I enter, but especially USGA events, they have so much prestige to them.

Yeah, I just gave myself that chance by winning the Public Links first, obviously, couldn't just step over that. That's a good tournament and good players and I had to play well there. [] After doing that, I just had my sights set on this and just wanted to keep continue playing how I was, and that's just kind of what I did this week. I just continued how I have been playing over the last few months, and just kind of kept it going for one more time.

Q. Can you put this whole year in perspective, what you've done in the amateur circuit?

RYAN MOORE: I don't know, I take everything really one step at a time. That's why I'm really able to stay in the moment, just that whole one shot at a time, one step at a time kind of mentality. I just kind of went along the way trying to execute, just trying to play as well as I possibly could and just to give myself the opportunity to win. It was looking a little iffy there today for a while, but still, I hung in there. I think the patience really paid off this whole week, in a couple of matches that really came down to those last few holes and I was able to finish.

That's kind of a Coach Knight influence from UNLV. That's his biggest thing is the last three holes of every round, and the last round in general, just to finish strong. He said those are the most important holes on an entire golf course. My freshman year, I necessarily didn't think, I was just like, oh, any three other golf holes. Now I've come to understand those last three holes pretty much make or break you every tournament. [] I can look back to every tournament I played this year and it really came down to those last few holes. You just have to get it done, I guess at the end. Just having that mentality from him and working on that over the last couple of years, I've really learned how to do that well.

Q. First of all, what was the yardage on 15 and what was the club in?

RYAN MOORE: 169 to the pin. That was an 8-iron.

Q. Your dad out there was talking about how, had you lost, that you would have been the same, your demeanor would have been the same either way. He said that maybe one of the things about you is that you're not afraid to lose, just wanted you to kind of aggressive that and does that enable you to succeed because you're not afraid of the alternative?

RYAN MOORE: I yeah, I guess. [] I've always heard there's two types of people: People that are afraid of winning and people that are afraid of losing. I'm definitely not afraid of winning.

I would obviously be a little bit more disappointed right now to give myself that opportunity to not be able to take care of it, to know that if I had not won it, probably would have been my putter. I wasn't making the putts real early and that's probably what would have cost me eventually. I was able to suck it up and just finish.

I don't know, I guess I'm not real afraid either way, I'd be the same person right now whether I won or lost. It's the same thing. Obviously this feels a little better to be able to come out on top.

Q. Speaking of 15, you and Luke were pretty similar in distance for your birdie putts, would you always rather putt first in that situation?

RYAN MOORE: In that situation, yes. I don't mind putting second or having to answer, I guess. But, if someone -- for me, from my perspective, I'm trying to make a move, I'm trying to put pressure on him to make him have to answer me.

In that situation, I definitely would really -- I wouldn't have minded if I had a two-footer or something, because obviously that kind of puts the pressure on him to have to make it. But to make him have to make his putt -- and his mind, that was a good position to be in for me. Just pretty happy I made it.

Q. What was the difference between today when you were down and the match on Thursday, you were sort of that similar spot.

RYAN MOORE: Well, I guess I won some of the holes with birdie this time instead of pars. It was playing pretty tough that afternoon, though.

No, it's the same thing, the same feeling, the same mentality. Just go out there and control myself. I go out and control what I can, and that's me. That's all I can do. I can't control, you know, if he decided to make two or three birdies, you know, then all power, that's great finishing for him, too. I wouldn't have come out on top.

You know, I just was able to execute and that's all there is to it, I guess.

Q. What are your thoughts on having your name on the same trophy as Bobby Jones, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Tiger Woods, etc.?

RYAN MOORE: Yeah, I guess that's not too bad. That's a good list of guys on there.

That's amazing. It was so much history to this tournament and that's part of why it's such a big deal is because of everybody that has competed in it, let alone won it. To have my name on there for ever is going to be awesome.

Q. Is it too far of a stretch to maybe compare what you did this summer by winning the NCAAs, etc., with possibly what Jones did in 1930?

RYAN MOORE: Probably not real comparable. I don't know. That's up to you guys if you want to say it is, well, great, I'll take it. .

I played good in the big events this year. That's all I can ask for. I just went out there and I tried to play solid and was able to come out on top in all of them. I guess if you want to compare it to that, then yeah, sure.

Q. Just your clubs and yardages on 17 and 18?

RYAN MOORE: 17, I was 184 or so, I think to the pin. I hit a 7-iron.

And then No. 18, I was 160, I think to the pin exactly. I hit a little 8-iron just low cut 8-iron in there. It was the kind of shot I had been hitting all week. I was really comfortable all over it and just able to hit it again.

Q. You mentioned about being in the moment and really wanting to take advantage of this opportunity this week, the moment is over and you've won, can you look back now on how satisfying is it to have executed and been able to come through?

RYAN MOORE: It's amazing. It's something I haven't been able to step back and look at really yet. I'm kind of rushing here. Just to start out with this as the goal at the beginning of the summer and then the beginning of this week. Just to be able to actually do it, you know, that's a different thing to think you want to do it. But then to actually do it, it's amazing. It's a great feeling. I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Q. As calm as you are, was there any point in the match where you said to yourself, "Uh-oh, the hourglass is running out and I need to do something quick[]?"

RYAN MOORE: No, not necessarily. You know, he hit that great shot right before me into 15. I was like, that's a good shot, just got to answer it. I have to do the same now. I'm stuck. Obviously, if I had hit not so great of a shot up there, he probably would have made that putt. He was putting real well all day. I just came to the point where he can win or lose. I had to execute. I had to hit the shot. I was fortunately able to do it there.

Q. Did you know anything about List until this week?

RYAN MOORE: I had heard the name a lot. I've heard him come up in different conversations here and there about good players around the country. I had seen his name in quite a few tournaments but I had never played with him before. I don't think we had even played in maybe a couple tournaments with him but that's not something I would have run across.

He's got a really solid golf game, great demeanor out there. You can see he was really calm. He was really pretty solid there under the pressure. Just I was able to make some birdies to get it done.

Q. You seem to be a pretty extraordinary finisher, very calm, you remind me of the South Africans, Ernie Els and Retief Goosen. Can you talk about your sense of confidence, have you had training in it, other than your coach, using Rotella's terms, the sports psychology terms, how has your confidence developed?

RYAN MOORE: It's just developed from playing well, I guess, or from setting out to do something and doing it, to reinforce. []

That's what I've been able to do I guess time after time this summer. I have confidently gone into tournaments knowing that I am capable of winning if I go out and do what I can do. And I can't control what the other guys are doing. All I can do is go out there and play as well as I can play.

If that's good enough at the end of the week, great. If it's not, that's too bad. As long as I try as hard as I can, nothing I can do about it. Fortunately, I've been able to, I guess it has been enough in the last five events or whatever it is now.

Q. Could you talk about your parents and whether they had something to do with your sense of, I think good self-esteem and confidence?

RYAN MOORE: Well, yeah, they are great parents. They have always been amazingly supportive. My dad is my golf coach, I guess, swing coach. He's the only person I've really ever worked with growing up and playing with him.

You know, he is just so positive, still; almost too positive sometimes, too encouraging. I have to tell him, "okay, dad, I know. It's okay, I understand now."

But then my mom, too, they are just positive influences my whole life. They have both are in my golf game. My mom is the calm, the relaxed. My demeanor out there, I'm exactly like my mom. If you watch her out there, she kind of wanders out there looking at the trees. She doesn't really pay attention. She gets nervous, she hates it, too; "I don't understand where you like being nervous, I don't understand, I don't get it."

My dad is the complete opposite. He's the competitor, a real good athlete and good player himself. He's developed that side of me, I guess. But he's also very mentally or taught me mental toughness, I guess, just to I guess never -- just to keep going, keep plugging along whenever you can.

Q. What's next for you, next event, when does school start up?

RYAN MOORE: I'm going to go sleep for a really long time. That's kind of my plan. Probably about a week or so I think I'm going to sleep.

No, I have a week off before school starts on the 30th. So I'm going to go home back in Washington and I'm just going to do absolutely nothing until about the 28th or 29th and I'm going to fly back down there and try to get myself set up and get ready for school again and get right back into it.

Unfortunately we don't have a tournament till the third week of September I think. So I'll have a few weeks off to kind of kickback and just relax. I probably won't touch a club next week or maybe the week after, maybe the week after that, too. I don't know, we'll see. Go watch a lot of movies. I love movies.

Q. Given your demeanor and what almost appears to be kind of nonchalance about accomplishing a feat that's absolutely unprecedented in amateur golf, what's it going to take to get you excited?

RYAN MOORE: Some food I think would get me pretty excited right now. I'm pretty hungry. I haven't eaten anything in a long time.

I'm excited, but I just don't show it the way everybody else does, I guess. I guess I'm just pretty calm and collected all the time. I don't really show a whole lot of emotions out there. I just go and enjoy myself.

I'm just, like I said, I'm in the moment. I'm having fun. Yeah, I don't get too worked up, I guess you could say over things. I don't have the highs and the lows. I'm just kind of enjoyed myself along the way.

Q. Keeping with that, we've talked a lot this week about you staying loose on the golf course with your caddie and whatnot, is there the same level of back and forth even when things were tight down the stretch when you're 3-down on the 15th hole?

RYAN MOORE: Yeah, I didn't really change. We kept the conversation nice and loose. Like I said, he's a good competitor and he's a good athlete himself. Played a lot of basketball in high school and played golf, as well and tennis, I think, too. He's a really good tennis player.

But so he understands when to be serious, when you've got to just bear down and ply and when you've just got to keep your mouth shut and just keep moving along and hit golf shots and that's kind of what we did. Coming down the stretch there, we were talking a little bit there. He would get a smile out of me a little bit.

He knew to just kind of stay out of the way and just let me do my thing, I guess.

Q. If you're not talking about golf in between shots, what are you talking about? When you say "nice and loose," what is nice and loose?

RYAN MOORE: Well, I don't know. I don't know how to -- hmmmm, let's see. What do we talk about?

Q. The scenery?

RYAN MOORE: Yeah. (Laughter.) Usually that's kind what have we're talking about. (Laughter.) We talk about anything pretty much from music to movies to girls a lot, mostly. No we just -- he brings up some random, random stuff. I don't know where he comes up with half the stuff he says but he gets me laughing so it's good for me.

PETE KOWALSKI: Is he a psychology major?

RYAN MOORE: No. No. What is he? I don't know. Accounting. That's it. Numbers guy.

PETE KOWALSKI: Any other questions for our champion?

Ryan, congratulations and we will deserved. Terrific championship.

End of FastScripts.

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297