Moore finally fits into Ryder Cup plans

Ryan Moore of the United States hits off the tee during practice prior to the 2016 Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minnesota on Sept 28, 2016.
Ryan Moore of the United States hits off the tee during practice prior to the 2016 Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minnesota on Sept 28, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

CHASKA • No Ryder Cup player has ever faced the challenge that United States captain's final pick Ryan Moore has this week - joining his team five days before the start of competition.

The 33-year-old was notified on Sunday by captain Davis Love III that he was the last man picked for the 12-man Ryder Cup squad, nearly an hour after losing to Rory McIlroy on the fourth play-off hole for the US PGA Tour Championship title.

"I was in the parking lot loading everything up," Moore said. "I actually missed his call. But I called him right back and I could tell right away it was a positive conversation. It was like, 'Hey, Ryan you want to go to Minnesota?'

"It has been a crazy 48 hours since then really."

Love tweaked the announcement dates for his picks after Billy Horschel made a great 2014 late-season play-off run after the US squad had been selected, leaving one last spot until after the last event was done.

Moore, making his Ryder Cup debut, had been through nearly a decade of uniform fittings as a contender for previous US Ryder and Presidents Cup teams only to be found not measuring up for captain's choices.

"I've been fitted for every team event for the last 10 years, every single one, until this year," he said.

"I did not do the fitting this year. So I'm not going to do it from now on ever. Hopefully I stay the same size so it's easy for them."

It was Love's bit of joy after telling others they had been rejected.

"It was emotional," Love said. "He and I had a couple of emotional, frank conversations over the last few weeks. So it was exciting to give him that news because I know he has been on the bad end of that a few times."

At long last, Moore was a perfect fit.

"I was ecstatic," he said. "Until I got the call I really didn't know. I knew I had done everything I really could in my power besides winning to show them where my game is at and that I could be an asset."

He flew his family home to Las Vegas as planned after a gruelling late-season run that saw him win last month's John Deere Classic.

Then he flew to Minnesota and on little sleep made his way to Hazeltine, where the 41st biennial men's team golf showdown against holders Europe begins tomorrow.

Now Moore has been talking with team-mates about who he might pair well with in the alternate shot and four-ball formats.

And he has spoken with Bubba Watson, the world No. 7 who was given an assistant captain's role after Moore was picked to play over him.

"We had a conversation. I actually sat next to him at dinner," Moore said.

"There's no hard feelings. We're both here to help this team do whatever we can to win."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 29, 2016, with the headline 'Moore finally fits into Ryder Cup plans'. Print Edition | Subscribe