Puyallup’s Ryan Moore knows he has been higher on the leaderboard at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, but he hasn’t yet closed the door on a victory at TPC Scottsdale.
Maybe a bigger head start will do the trick.
Rarely will a golfer be sullen over three consecutive rounds in the 60s, but Moore’s 2-under par 69 in the third round Saturday wasn’t exactly met with loud hurrahs and fist pumps.
“It would have been nice to get a couple more (birdies), but I am where I am at,” Moore said.
Never miss a local story.
Moore is at 8-under 205, five strokes behind leader Martin Laird — but two shots off second place.
“Honestly I have been higher up on the leaderboard going into Sunday a few times here and have not won yet,” Moore said. “Maybe (being) a little further back I will shoot 6-under and do something crazy … and sneak one out.”
He hopes to never have a repeat experience of his 16th hole Saturday.
Coming off a birdie, Moore’s wedge flew long and left over a short pin placement. He answered a catcall of boos by tipping his cap to the boisterous gallery.
Then he got to his golf ball. Ugh.
“The worst lie you could ever, ever have — ever,” Moore said.
His golf ball not only plugged into the face of a greenside bunker, it was barely visible.
“You could only see a small portion of the ball,” Moore said. “It was completely gone.”
So he closed the face of his sand wedge and hit as hard as he could a few inches behind the ball.
The blast of the sand carried the ball onto the green, some 20 feet from the hole.
“I thought there was a 15 percent chance I would get it out,” Moore said. “It was all you can do in that situation.”
He missed the putt for par — then missed a short birdie putt on the next hole to remain tied with eight others going into the final round on Sunday.