2005: Newsmakers - Moore to play U.S. Open as an amateur

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RankNameSchoolRating
1Joey GarberGeorgia  68.61 
2Robby SheltonAlabama  68.62 
3Patrick RodgersStanford  68.67 
4Ollie SchniederjansGA Tech  68.81 
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1Alabama 68.92 
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5California 69.81  11 

Although he’s still unsure when he’ll make the transition to the play-for-pay ranks, Ryan Moore ended weeks of speculation when he withdrew his name from U.S. Open sectional qualifying.

Moore, a senior at UNLV who was low amateur at this year’s Masters, initially signed up for sectional qualifying. It was a move that indicated he would decline his exemption, which he receives as the reigning U.S. Amateur champion if he remains an amateur, and attempt to play the event as a professional.

After weighing his options, however, Moore withdrew his application and informed the U.S. Golf Association he will spend his week at Pinehurst June 16-19 chasing glory, not cash.

“What was happening is it was drawing close to the entry deadline and we were still debating his summer schedule,” said Mike Moore, Ryan’s father.

Because Moore, who tied for sixth at last week’s NCAA West Regional, is not a member of the PGA Tour, he can play as many as 12 events this year and no more than seven on sponsor exemptions.

The only way to increase his starts, and possibly avoid Q-School with a top-125 finish on the money list, is to secure special temporary member status by equaling the amount won by No. 150 on the 2004 money list (Paul Stankowski, $442,872).

Mike Moore said his son likely will turn pro after the U.S. Open and make his debut at the Barclays Classic in Rye, N.Y. Moore also is exempt into the Cialis Western Open thanks to his 2004 Western Amateur title and has been offered an exemption into the John Deere Classic.

There is a chance, however, Moore could wait to turn pro until after the British Open at St. Andrews, which he is exempt into if he remains an amateur.

“It’s the home of golf and one of the most revered trophies in the sport,” Mike Moore said. “There’s not a lot of ways for him to get (into the British Open) unless he remains an amateur. The top 1,000 players in the world wish they had what he has and that’s an exemption into the British Open.”

Yet the Moore camp also understands that the fewer opportunities this year’s Ben Hogan Award winner has, the less likely his chances of earning a Tour card.

Bill Haas, the 2003-04 college player of the year, played nine events last year after leaving Wake Forest but fell $33,717 short of earning special temporary status despite missing just one cut.

“Q-School is still an option. He plans to play, but if he can avoid it that’d be best,” Mike Moore said.

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