USA's last-man Moore endures crazy days before Ryder Cup
Chaska (United States) (AFP)
No Ryder Cup player has ever faced the challenge that final US captain's pick Ryan Moore has this week, joining his team five days before the start of competition.
The 33-year-old American was notified Sunday by US captain Davis Love that he was the last man picked for the 12-man Ryder Cup squad, nearly an hour after losing to Rory McIlroy on the fourth playoff hole for the US PGA Tour Championship title.
"I was in the parking lot loading everything up," Moore said. "I actually missed his call. But I called him right back and I could tell right away it was a positive conversation. It was like, 'Hey, Ryan you want to go to Minnesota?'
"It has been a crazy 48 hours since then really."
Love tweaked the announcement dates for his picks after Billy Horschel made a great 2014 late-season playoff run after the US squad had been selected, leaving one last spot until after the last event was done.
Moore, making his Ryder Cup debut, had been through nearly a decade of uniform fittings as a contender for prior US Ryder and Presidents Cup teams only to be found not measuring up for captain's choices.
"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. So I'm not going to do it from now on ever. Hopefully I stay the same size so it's easy for them.
"We definitely had to hem up a suit a little bit, but these are good problems."
It was Love's bit of joy after telling others they had been rejected.
"It was emotional," Love said. "He and I had a couple emotional, frank conversations over the last few weeks. So it was exciting to give him that news because I know he has been on the bad end of that a few times."
At long last, Moore was a perfect fit.
"I was ecstatic," he said. "Until I got the call I really didn't know. I knew I had done everything I really could in my power besides winning to show them where my game is at and that I could be an asset."
Moore flew his family home to Las Vegas as planned after a grueling late season run that saw him win last month's John Deere Classic. Then he flew to Minnesota and on little sleep made his way to Hazeltine, where the 41st biennial men's team golf showdown against holders Europe begins Friday.
"Ryan has had a whirlwind," Love said. "We're just guiding him to where he is supposed to be and what he's supposed to do next.
"I asked him if he wanted to come and play a practice round before the Tour Championship. "He said, 'I think the only way I can make your team is if I have a great Tour Championship and I need to rest and go to Atlanta and practice if I'm going to have any shot at it.' I agreed with him."
- 'No hard feelings' by Bubba -
Now Moore has been talking with teammates about who he might pair well with in the altrnate shot and four-ball formats.
And he has spoken with Bubba Watson, the world number seven who was given an assistant captain's role after Moore was picked to play over him.
"We had a conversation. I actually sat next to him at dinner," Moore said. "There's no hard feelings. We're both here to help this team do whatever we can to win."
© 2016 AFP