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June 1, 2007
JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: Thank you, Ryan, for joining us for a few minutes here in the media center at the Memorial Tournament. Another solid round today, and it looks like you'll be in pretty good position going into the weekend. Just talk a little bit about what you've been doing well. You played well last week or the last time you were out, and you continue on.
RYAN MOORE: Well, I think I'm starting to get more comfortable with my swing the last couple weeks. It felt great last week and then I didn't really putt well, unfortunately, last week.
Really, the difference between last week and this week is just making a lot more putts, just really got up-and-down when I needed to a few times today, especially early in the round, to kind of keep the momentum in a positive direction. You know, I think that was really the key.
Q. Is this as many post-round interviews as you've done in a while?
RYAN MOORE: Yeah (laughing), I don't know why people haven't wanted to interview me after rounds when I'm shooting 73 or 74 a lot. Nobody really wants to talk to you. So yeah, it's nice.
Q. Difference in your putting stroke, something you've worked on or --
RYAN MOORE: You know, the funny thing is -- the thing I've changed is not thinking about it. All I'm trying to do is think about something as my finish, actually, and not the stroke, not anything else, and just trying to get to a nice, solid finish position, and that's it. Which has just made me stop thinking about the tracking of the putter, the path, anything like that. It's just freed me up to hit the putt and just really get to that good, solid position.
Some way or another, that seems to be helping.
Q. Could you compare the bunkers this year to last -- I'm noticing the scores seem to be lower, and I'm wondering if there's a connection there.
RYAN MOORE: Well, I think they are a little bit more consistent with the lie you're getting in them this year, where last year you could have an absolutely phenomenal lie and it was plugged. It was mostly just like a plugged lie all the time, which in the fairways bunkers was, to me, nearly impossible because it depended on which way the line was going, where your ball was going to shoot out.
So I think they're a lot more consistent, a lot more fair all the way through. They're definitely sitting down a little bit more than they would on just a perfectly smooth, groomed bunker where you have to -- you can't spin it nearly as much, you just have to try and hit a softer shot and just let it roll out there. You definitely can't zip them.
JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: Do you want to go through your card? Bogey on 4?
RYAN MOORE: Sure. Well, I had made about three eight-footers in a row for par the first three holes, so it was kind of understandable. I just missed the green --
Q. What did you do on 3 to leave yourself an eight-footer for par? Did you come from that bunker?
RYAN MOORE: No, I hit it right in the middle of the fairway, pulled my wedge a little bit, came down the slope, and ripped my putter up -- actually it was about a ten-footer. It was a horrible first putt, and I made the ten-footer coming back. It looks a lot steeper than it is. I just hit it way too hard.
I just missed the green short and right and just over the bunker, didn't quite trickle on the green, just left that about 12 feet short and finally missed a short putt there.
6, birdie, I hit a 9-iron from the first cut, kind of about 12 feet, 15 feet behind the hole, kind of right where I was trying to hit it. It was a nice little feeding right to left really fast putt down the slope there, and I was able to sneak it in there.
7, good drive, just up the left side, hit a 3-wood which landed perfectly just over the bunker, just in the rough, and killed it and just dribbled on the green and had about a 35-footer for eagle, which I left about a foot short and right, tapped it in.
Then 8, I hit an 8-iron a little short left, just hung up in the rough, almost in the fringe, and it was just a nice little chip, one you could be aggressive at, and I chipped it in.
14, I hit 4-iron down there about -- I had 127 and I hit sand wedge actually because it was so much downwind at that point in time, and it's a little downhill, so I hit sand wedge just behind the pin there perfect, I'd say about eight to ten feet. That was a really hard right to lefter there, and I was able to make that one.
Q. How close was it from going off the back? Was there any room behind the pin on 14?
RYAN MOORE: Yeah, I had plenty of room there. I landed it about pin high and left, and it took one big hop left, and it spun down right.
Q. Sorry to be grilling you on all your pars, but I'm curious about 5. What did you do there?
RYAN MOORE: Oh, I missed about an eight-footer for birdie there actually. It was nothing special.
Q. Did you have to lay up?
RYAN MOORE: Yeah, I just had to lay up, had a nice full pitching wedge, knocked it eight feet behind the hole.
Q. I was just curious from your own thinking process, to start off with three solid par saves where you're -- I'm going to say defensive but it's not the greatest of starts, then you get to 4 and drop a shot and then you get to 5 and the first big birdie opportunity you don't. Is it hard for you to --
RYAN MOORE: You know, that's the thing is in past weeks, that probably would have bothered me. And somehow it just didn't even cross my mind. I gave myself a good opportunity, I was happy about it, and I think it comes with just putting well and knowing that if I just keep giving myself opportunities I'm going to make some putts, especially on greens as good as these. You hit a putt on-line it's going to go in.
I guess there was just a little confidence there, just trying not to get too ahead of myself, and it paid off fortunately. I birdied the next three holes.
Q. Is patience ever a problem for you? I'm not talking about on the golf course per se, but even wanting things quicker than you're getting them?
RYAN MOORE: You know, it generally has not been, but I'd say I've struggled with it a little bit more in the last few months. You know, really, the last couple weeks I've stopped thinking about anything mechanical. When I'm stepping up to hit a fade, all I'm doing is thinking about hitting a fade. I'm not thinking about what my body has to do to do it, I'm just absolutely thinking, let's just hit a fade and make it happen, which has finally freed up my mind a little bit to have the patience to be thinking about it because I've been battling so many things after my hand and trying to get my swing back to where it felt comfortable that I felt like I was just kind of cluttered and I didn't have the room to think because I was thinking about so many other things other than my golf game. Now I'm just trying to make it simple and trying to think about what I'm doing and doing it.
Q. That's who you are, though? I thought that was always kind of your reputation.
RYAN MOORE: Yeah, it was definitely more how I used to play, and that's kind of what hit me. It's like, I used to be able to hit draws and all of a sudden I couldn't hit a draw. I was like, why is this happening? I always used to be able to draw the ball. And then finally at the range one day, I thought, I'm going to think about hitting a draw and I'm going to let my body do it, and all of a sudden I started hitting nice little draws. That was nice.
That was maybe Monday or so or Tuesday at Colonial last week. I was like, forget this. I'm tired of thinking. I'm going to stand up there and I'm going to think about hitting a draw and hit a draw, think about hitting it low, hit it low. And then the putting this week, I found something that feels a lot better.
Q. Did some one thing lead you to this point where you said, I'm not going to think about the mechanical stuff, if I want to hit a draw, let myself hit a draw? What brought that on?
RYAN MOORE: I have no idea (laughing). I was probably just thinking back to -- actually, you know what, I know exactly what it was now because it was Monday afternoon, I did the junior clinic at Colonial last week, me and my buddy Michael Putnam that I grew up with in Washington and played a lot of junior golf with him.
So we were out there, and honestly it kind of made me start thinking about how I used to be when I was younger playing as a kid and that kind of stuff, so it was really right then out there demonstrating shots for them, and it just made me start thinking about it, and that's when it kind of just hit me.
Q. You never worked with a psychologist or anything like some of the guys do?
RYAN MOORE: No.
Q. Self-taught psychology?
RYAN MOORE: I guess so, yeah.
Q. So when you were a kid, you just wanted to hit the ball?
RYAN MOORE: Yeah.
Q. And then later on you decided how should I hit the ball?
RYAN MOORE: Yeah, I guess. At some point in time I became a very predominant fader of the golf ball throughout my college career. And I could still draw the ball, but 75 percent of the time I was going to fade it. And so I kind of -- since I've been injured and trying to come back to that, that was always in my mind of where I was trying to get back to. Instead, I just said, forget it. I'm just going to go try and work the ball and do what I can with it. On this kind of golf course, it really helps to be able to hit it both directions.
Q. There's been a lot of stories written, and defending the press here I think a lot of us are strictly results oriented for the most part, looking for a good young American, and that's been probably going on for two or three years. You know what I'm talking about, or you know the story lines.
RYAN MOORE: I do know the story lines, yes. Do I agree with them, not so much.
Q. Well, that's kind of what I'm getting at. What is that like for you? You've had a fairly, I would say, significant setback from when you first got out here.
RYAN MOORE: I've had a lot of things happen in the first couple years that I was definitely hoping would not happen. But at the same time, I can either look at it as "poor me" or "why is this happening to me," or I've actually done a pretty great job of getting as far as I've gotten under the circumstances that I had to deal with. I got my TOUR card in eight starts with a broken hand the whole time. That's pretty good if you ask me. But maybe I'm over-thinking it, I don't know.
And then last year after having surgery, playing the whole beginning part of the year with a broken hand, then having surgery from it, then having it hurt, maybe ten healthy starts where I felt pretty good and made over a million dollars. I think that's okay. I mean, I'm sorry I haven't won, I've taken second a couple times. But for me, I've been very happy with what I've been able to do with what I've had.
Q. Under the circumstances, right.
RYAN MOORE: In the last two years. I understand. You know, I probably had a lot higher expectations or everybody had of me, and I had higher expectations of coming out trying to win, and if I had been healthy the last two years, I think I'd be sitting in a different position right now. Those things are gone and out of my control, and I feel like I've done a pretty decent job to this point with what I've had to work with.
We've had a lot of young guys. You've got Charles playing great at the beginning of the year, you've got Nick Watney winning a tournament a few weeks ago. There's been younger American guys winning. I guess maybe we haven't been as consistent --
Q. I think that's probably it. If I sounded like I was blaming the whole thing on you, by the way, I didn't mean it that way. I was just curious, as someone who had that tremendous, especially the final year, amateur, and there was probably some hopes, and here you are sitting there listening to this, going through these situations where you can't, coming out of college, be at your best because of a broken hand and then surgery, I was just curious what that was like reading that and hearing that, if there was any part of you that was saying, just give me a chance to get my game straight or my health straight.
RYAN MOORE: Yeah, but the whole time, I'm not out here trying to prove anything to anybody, I'm just out here trying to play the best golf I possibly can. That's all I do every week.
I try not to pay attention too much, to be honest. You hear certain things and you hear certain things a lot, I feel like a lot more than we should hear them in some cases. But I'm happy with where I'm at. I don't feel like any media or whatever blames me for not being the good young American player. Who knows, maybe after this, maybe. But I feel like I'm finally getting to a place where I'm physically capable of doing what I was able to do for those good years in college, and even maybe beyond there physically.
I feel like that, and now the mental side is definitely starting to come back into place, and the scores are starting to go the right direction. That's all I can look for.
Q. As a follow-up, I would ask you, Mr. Communications Major, why you wouldn't necessarily agree with that. You mentioned Nick winning this year and Charlie starting off as well as he did. Why wouldn't you agree with any thoughts that we're lagging behind? I'm putting you on the spot.
RYAN MOORE: That's a little too loaded, to be honest. I don't think I can answer that. No, I can't really --
Q. Is it consistency do you think?
RYAN MOORE: I mean, I definitely think it's consistency. I think it's flat-out hard to win a golf tournament out here, and when someone wins a golf tournament I don't think they get as much credit as they should for winning a golf tournament. Like Watney, he won a golf tournament and you haven't heard a word about him since.
There's a very small amount of media coverage on him after winning a golf tournament. It's not easy. That's a great job for a young guy like him to get out there and win a golf tournament on the PGA TOUR in his first few years out here. That's phenomenal if you ask me, and I'm someone who plays week in and week out, and I know how hard it is to win out here.
I just think that it's looked at in a somewhat pessimistic way towards us. Winning a golf tournament is doing great. Charles taking second and then winning, that's phenomenal.
Q. Two seconds actually.
RYAN MOORE: Two seconds, exactly. Okay, so he hasn't won a tournament since. Where has he gone? Well, he played great for that stretch of golf. Can't you just give him credit for that? That's about all I can say about that.
JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: Well, thank you for your help.
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