Pinehurst, N.C. — In the way the United States Golf Association intended, Puyallups Ryan Moore got the whole terrorizing U.S. Open experience Sunday at Pinehurst Resort and Country Club No. 2 Course.
And it all came in two holes.
Two front-nine triple bogeys all but ended Moores bid to climb into the top 10 and earn an automatic exemption into next years U.S. Open near his hometown at Chambers Bay Golf Course in University Place.
He closed with a 6-over-par 76 the same score from his opening round and finished at 11-over 291, tying for 48th.
I finished about the same place as 2005 as an amateur (he tied for 57th), Moore said. Clearly this course doesnt work very well for me, but at least I had a couple of decent rounds this year.
Very early Sunday, Moore had issues off the tee much like the way he felt Thursday.
I double-crossed every shot I hit for the first eight holes. I aimed to hit a cut, and I hit a draw. I aimed to hit a draw, and I pushed it to the right, Moore said. There is only so long you can last getting away with that. At some point, you are going to put it in the wrong spot.
It did catch up with him, starting at the seventh hole, a curling par 4.
His drive landed in a bad spot in the left sandscape so bad, he could only advance his second shot about 75 yards.
After hitting his third shot into a greenside bunker, his blast out carried through the back of the green.
I got a bunch of bad lies in a row, and there is nothing I can do about that, Moore said.
And then the not-so-enjoyable fun of Pinehurst No. 2 began, starting with his first chip shot, which lost steam carrying up a slope, then fell back to his feet. He ended up walking off with a triple bogey-7.
At the eighth hole, a long, straightaway par 4, Moores drive again went left into thick grass. And his second shot stayed left of the green, barreling down a steep swale.
Facing a delicate pitch shot to a back pin, he nearly holed it out before it scooted across the green and down the other side.
For the second consecutive hole, Moores first chip never got high enough on the green, and rolled back to his original spot. He made another triple bogey-7 to fall to 7-over for the round.
Moore did birdie the next hole, hitting a 7-iron tee shot to 4 feet at the uphill par 3. And he did nearly reach the drivable par-4 13th hole, getting up and down for a final birdie in front of the green.
But as a worn-out Moore admitted afterward, I was out of sorts.
Now the U.S. Open next goes to Chambers Bay. Moore is surely the best candidate to be the host face of that national championship in Pierce County. But he has not even qualified for it yet, so he is not thinking that far ahead.
I did not do what I could have done this week to make sure I am in the tournament, Moore said. Honestly, I have got a long ways to go.
I am no way thinking I am guaranteed in that event. Of course, Id love to be there I want to play in every U.S. Open. Ive got to play good golf between now and then to ensure I will be there, and right now that is not happening.
Todd Milles: 253-597-8442; firstname.lastname@example.org