Playoff birdie gets local golfer Ryan Moore his third career tour win

todd.milles@thenewstribune.comOctober 28, 2013 

Puyallup’s Ryan Moore birdied the first hole of a playoff with Gary Woodland on Monday in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to win the CIMB Classic after an overnight wait caused by thunderstorms.

Moore had to fight just to get in the playoff, hitting an awkward 60-yard wedge shot on the 18th hole Sunday that dropped within several feet of the hole and allowed him to salvage par.

He and Woodland finished at 14-under 274, with the playoff postponed until Monday because of fading light.

In the playoff, Moore hit a similarly well-placed approach with an 8-iron to the same green that stopped about 5 feet from the hole, setting up his winning putt.

“I had a great opportunity there on 18 with my third shot, and it

was just an absolute perfect number,” he said. “It was coincidentally the exact shot I was working on on the range.”

It was Moore’s third PGA Tour title and came nearly a year after he won his second at the 2012 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas.

“I’ve always enjoyed playing in the fall. I’m not sure why,” he said. “It’s actually kind of funny: I won a week before my son (Tucker) was born last year; I won a week after (his birthday) this year.”

Woodland, who was also trying to win his third PGA Tour title, had a chance to end things as dusk was descending in a steady rain Sunday evening, but he barely missed a 10-foot birdie putt on the 18th that would have given him the title.

The players had endured about 31/2 hours of storm delays earlier in the day, which caused the playoff to be put off until the morning.

“Obviously, I’d like to make that putt,” Woodland said. “I hit it where I wanted to, it just broke more.”

On Monday, he pushed his approach to the 18th green wide and left himself a difficult chip shot from the rough that he couldn’t hole for birdie.

Moore also is hoping to build on the victory at the $7 million Malaysian tournament, which became an official PGA Tour event this year, awarding FedEx Cup points and a spot in the Masters.

“Now that it counts, now that it’s a full FedEx Cup event and counts as a win on the PGA Tour, it does so much for you. To get a win this early in the season, it’s just incredible, to be able to get some FedEx Cup points racked up,” Moore said.

ELSEWHERE

Suzann Pettersen successfully defended her title at the LPGA Taiwan Championship in Yangmei – her fourth tour win of the year and third in her last five starts – closing with a 3-under 69 for a 9-under total and a five-stroke victory over Azahara Munoz. … Kenny Perry made an 8-foot birdie putt on the first hole of a playoff with Bernhard Langer to win the Champions Tour’s AT&T Championship in San Antonio. Perry and Langer each shot 5-under 67 to finish at 13-under 203. Perry forced the playoff with a par-saving 20-foot putt on the 18th hole. … Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (4-under 68) chipped in for birdie on the tough 17th hole, then survived a double bogey on 18 to win the BMW Masters in Shanghai by one shot.

TRACKING LOCALS on the pga tour

Last week: CIMB Classic, Thursday though Monday (playoff), Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

In the field: Puyallup’s Ryan Moore and Gig Harbor’s Kyle Stanley.

Position: Moore (14-under-par 274) finished tied with American Gary Woodland after regulation Sunday, and returned Monday to win with a birdie on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff. Stanley (5-under 283) tied for 19th.

Recap: The extra day was well worth the wait for Moore, who picked up his third career PGA Tour victory. The two finalists returned to the long par-5 18th hole. Moore hit a 3-wood tee shot in the fairway, followed by a 5-wood to the left fairway. Meanwhile, Woodland’s second shot leaked right into the first cut of rough. From 157 yards, Moore hit a 8-iron approach that stopped behind the hole, 5 feet away. Woodland’s third shot went wide right of the green and into high grass. Woodland’s birdie chip from 25 feet stopped short, and Moore – who backed off his winning putt once – rolled it straight into the hole. Moore moved into second in the FedEx Cup points standings, and earned $1.26 million for the win.

Next for Moore: WGC-HSBC Champions, starting Thursday at Sheshan International Golf Club in Shanghai, China.

todd.milles@thenewstribune.com

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