2005: Newsmakers - Myers, Moore earn accolades for men’s NCAA season
There were fierce expectations for UNLV’s Ryan Moore last fall as he prepared to enter his senior season. Moore was coming off one of the best summer performances since Bobby Jones, having won the NCAA Division I Championship and the U.S. Amateur along with three other major events.
On the other hand, Duke University men’s coach Rod Myers wasn’t sure what to expect from his Blue Devils. He knew he had two solid players returning, but he also was aware of how inexperienced his squad would be.
Now, with the 2004-05 season at a close, Moore lived up to the expectations, and Myers’ Duke squad went above and beyond for its best campaign in 40 years.
The result: Moore, by virtue of his No. 1 finish in the final Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings, is the Golfweek Division I Player of the Year; and Myers is the Coach of the Year.
“I did pretty much everything I wanted to do except win the (NCAA) team championship,” said Moore, who plans to turn professional at next week’s Barclays Classic. “I had a good final round (66 at NCAA at Caves Valley Golf Club) to end my career so that was nice.”
For the season, Moore, a first-team All-American and this year’s Ben Hogan Award winner (which combines amateur and collegiate performance over the course of the year), won three times and never finished outside the top six in any of his 10 starts. Also, Moore tied for 13th at the Masters.
Since the Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings began in 1999-00, Duke had never finished better than 17th in the final ranking, that being in 2000.
But after a season in which the Blue Devils won four times, including their first Atlantic Coast Conference title since 1966, and posted a pair of seconds, Duke ended in the No. 9 spot in the rankings.
When the Blue Devils tied for eighth earlier this month at the NCAA Championship, it marked their highest finish in the national finals since a third place in 1962.
“This has been a very special season,” Myers said. “I guess you could say it’s been a very pleasant surprise, because you never know what to expect when you have a young team (2 juniors, 1 sophomore and 2 freshmen). I thought this could be probably the best team I’ve ever had (in his 32 years at the Duke helm) and I think in many ways it was.
“What the guys did this year should be huge for our program. We’ve been climbing the mountain for 30 years. We’re not at the top, but we’re getting closer.”