Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018 | 2 a.m.
The Strip casino emblem on Ryan Moore’s clothing still stands out among the swooshes, three stripes and other golf apparel manufacturers represented by the dozens of other golfers on tour. His short beard, worn ever since his historic four-year college career at UNLV, is graying all around.
But the 35-year-old former Rebel, known for winning five major amateur championships during his senior year in 2004, insists he’s still going strong. Part of a star-studded field at this week’s Shriners Open, Moore has his sights set on winning Las Vegas’ annual PGA event for the second time. The tournament starts today.
“There’s a certain comfort about playing a golf course that you play frequently, and it’s the relaxing atmosphere of just being at home,” Moore said of TPC Summerlin, which is hosting the modern version of the tournament for the 15th consecutive year. “I know the greens really well and that has helped me have success in the past.”
Six years ago, Moore waved and walked up the 18th fairway toward the green as fans chanted “Rebels.” He two-putted for par to edge Brendon de Jonge by one stroke for just his second PGA Tour win in his seventh full season as a pro.
Since then, Moore has won three more tour events and, most notably, played a key role in leading the United States over Europe at the 2016 Ryder Cup. Having fallen short of qualifying for the Ryder Cup in 2018, Moore said Wednesday he was at peace having once been a part of the “incredible” experience. Instead of watching the Americans get trounced by seven points last month, the former Rebel said he was spending time with his wife, Nichole, and two young sons.
“It’s an amazing event and I’d love to be a part of it anytime I can,” Moore said. “But at the same time, it’s a long year and it’s exhausting. Having an extra week off at the end of the year to be home with my family and friends is not the worst thing.”
The most accomplished college golfer in UNLV’s storied program history, Moore recently became involved in the school’s “Drive for 5” fundraising initiative. Serving as a chairman for the drive, which aims to double UNLV’s donor base to 5,000 members, Moore said he’s involved in weekly conversations with the athletic department, hoping to “grow the foundation for all athletics and make the programs better.”
“UNLV was a huge part of my development as a golfer, and I want our student-athletes to have better and better opportunities,” he said.