AFP/Chaska, United States
Ryan Moore struggled to find the words to describe his emotions after going from being the final captain’s pick to clinching the Ryder Cup for Team USA a week later.
The 33-year-old Moore, who didn’t find out he was on the US team until last Sunday, won the final three holes against Lee Westwood to clinch the winning point and lift the US to their first Ryder Cup victory since 2008.
“I mean, I don’t even know. This is unbelievable right now, to actually get the point that clinches it,” Moore said.
“That birdie on 17 and then to win with the par on the last hole, it’s — honestly, I don’t even know what to tell you. It’s incredible.”
Moore had to rally on the back nine Sunday to defeat Europe’s Westwood 1-up in one of the 12 final day singles matches at the 41st Ryder Cup.
Team captain Davis Love made Moore a captain’s pick, just hours after he battled Rory McIlroy into a playoff at the US PGA season-ending Tour Championship before settling for second after the fourth extra hole.
Moore was 2-down before an eagle at 16, birdie at 17 and a par on 18 which was enough to take down Englishman Westwood, who made bogey on the final hole at Hazeltine National.
“Obviously we had some great play going on behind me. I was able to relax and play those last couple of holes and able to sneak a win out there,” said Moore, who has won five US PGA titles, the most recent coming last month at the John Deere Classic.
“When I went 2-down with three to go, I didn’t want to let my team down.
“I wanted to do everything I could and try to hit a couple great shots coming in. Was able to eagle 16, which was huge.
“I can’t believe a week ago I didn’t even know I was going to be here.”
Love said Sunday he knew it would be easy to welcome Moore into the Ryder Cup fold.
“Well, he barely got here,” Love said. “He had quite a whirlwind week. Now he is part of our family a lot more.”
Moore said that now that he has had his first taste of the Ryder Cup he wants more.
“This is something I want to be apart of every single year,” said Moore.
Before Hazeltine that seemed like an elusive dream.
Moore had been through nearly a decade of uniform fittings as a contender for prior Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup teams only to not make the cut.
“I’ve been fitted for every team event for the last 10 years, every single one, until this year,” Moore said.
“So I did not do the fitting this year. I’m not going to do it from now on, ever. Hopefully I stay the same size so it’s easy for them.”
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