Notes: Small changes spur Moore's success
CARMEL, Ind. – Sometimes the difference between making the cut and being in contention is minuscule. For Ryan Moore, a combination of small things have made a big difference during the past three weeks.
It started at The Barclays when Moore was tied for sixth place through three rounds, but a 75 in the final round cost him a top 10 in the first playoff event.
Moore wasn’t putting well, and he finally decided to deal with it by asking his younger brother Jason to take a look.
Jason caddied for Moore in the past and knows his game and clearly his stroke, which he found to be a bit out of alignment.
“I tend to get everything a little open with the putter face,” Moore said. “That's what looks square to me, so I've got to fight that a little bit. Honestly, so it looks a little shut to me; that's square. It's one of those things that's a constant battle, and I just kind of let it get away from me.”
Moore needed only 27 putts to shoot 6-under 66 for a 12-under 132 total and share second place with Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, one shot behind Vijay Singh.
Another part of the puzzle was that Moore went back to a putter, a Yes! Sandy-12 model, that he used to shoot 61 in the second round of the Humana Challenge in January.
The alignment fix and the old/new putter has produced positive results.
After a T-10 at the Deutsche Bank Championship, Moore finds himself one shot out of the lead after 36 holes of this week's BMW Championship at Crooked Stick Golf Club. The results have given credence to the the alignment fix.
Moore was ranked 31st in strokes gained putting last week in Boston and fifth in putting average. This week through two rounds, he ranks second in strokes gained putting.
“It was one of those weird things," Moore said of having shelved the putter early in the year. "I didn't really know why it worked at the time. I just kind of picked it up and it looked good, and I made everything, really, for 27 holes, and then I couldn't make a thing with it. Figuring out the alignment stuff, it helps me line up a lot better.
"It actually looks a little shut to me, which is really square. It was one of those things, I went home for a couple days in between New York and Boston, and that's where the putter was, at home. I kind of picked it up and kind of put it all together right there. That's nice that I figured out before it was too late.”
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WOODS 'GRINDING HARD': Tiger Woods still is in the midst of a swing change, and as was the case in Friday’s second round of the BMW Championship, the adjustments can prove to be difficult. In shooting a 5-under 67, Woods had to grind it out over 18 holes just to stay in touch with the leaders.
“I was grinding hard, staying as patient as possible,” Woods said after finishing with two consecutive birdies to share second place. “You look up at the scores; the guys are just running off. I just wanted to get to double digits (under par) today. I felt like that would have been a good accomplishment the way I was hitting the golf ball, and happy to get a couple more.”
Entering the weekend, Woods is in position to win his fourth tournament of the season but will have to hit it better over the final 36 holes to win his first playoff event since the BMW in 2009.
That year, Woods shot a third-round 62 at Cog Hill to run away with the championship.
“The scoring opportunities are out there," Woods said, "especially with it being this warm – ball is flying, we're hitting it probably a club further because it's so warm out there.”
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WEATHER WORKAROUND: Mother Nature is causing issues at Crooked Stick, but now it seems that the weather will break up a popular TV pairing of Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods.
When both birdied the last hole, they finished at 12 under, but McIlroy finished first.
With bad weather in central Indiana projected for late afternoon to run into the morning hours Saturday, third-round tee times were revised to threesomes off of two tees versus the usual twosomes off the first tee only.
Thus, Vijay Singh (66–131), Ryan Moore (66-132) and McIlroy (68–132) will be in the last group, and Tiger Woods (67–132) , Lee Westwood (65–133) and Bo Van Pelt (69–133) will be in the penultimate group.
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SHORT SHOTS: The cutline for the Tour Championship, which will fall at 30, has John Huh at 29, John Senden at 30 and Robert Garrigus at 31 going into Saturday’s third round. . . . Crooked Stick played slightly more difficult in Friday's second round, with a scoring average of 68.814. In Thursday’s first round, the average was 69.471. . . . The second-round leader/co-leader has won nine of 38 stroke-play events this season, most recently by Rory McIlroy at last week’s Deutsche Bank Championship.