Puyallup’s Ryan Moore packed his bags and flew home to Las Vegas satisfied on Sunday afternoon.
On a day when Oakmont Country Club finally dried up and final-round scores skyrocketed, Moore fired an even-par 70.
Regrouping from third-round blunders early Sunday morning at the 116th U.S. Open, he rallied on his final 18 holes to tie for 32nd at 8-over 288.
“It was pretty solid golf today,” Moore said. “I honestly didn’t feel great hitting the golf ball, ball-striking wasn’t great, but I got a lot out of it.”
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Perhaps now he can enjoy a short break from golf. Moore said if his performance this week bumps him inside the world’s top 50, he’ll play in the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in Akron, Ohio in two weeks.
“I’ll have three weeks off until the British (Open), and then I’ll play a lot of golf after that,” Moore said. “It’ll be a very busy schedule from that point on in my season.”
This will be his first trip to Royal Troon Golf Club in Scotland, where the British Open begins on July 14.
“They all have their different quirks to each course,” said Moore, who has played in six British Opens.
Oakmont had a few that flustered Moore this week. He shot 10 over on a cluster of holes — Nos. 7, 8 and 9 — during the tournament before rallying to his even-par final round.
It was his best single-round score at a U.S. Open since he shot a second-round 68 at Pinehurst No. 2 in 2014. He rolled in three birdies on the back nine, including a gem at No. 15, where he chipped an 18-yard shot from a greenside rough to hole out for birdie.
“I’m not going to say an impossible golf shot — but it was darn close to it,” he said. “I had to hit exactly perfect, and I did. When those actually go in, it makes me happy.”
Moore hollered at the ball as it trickled toward the hole — a tactic so successful, he might make it a habit.
“Maybe I should yell at my golf ball more often,” he laughed.
JOHNSON PENALTY IGNITES TWITTER
A late one-stroke penalty issued to Dustin Johnson — a first-time major champion after Sunday — warranted criticisms from PGA Tour members on Twitter.
The USGA ruled that Johnson caused his ball to move on the fifth green. The penalty was not issued until after he finished his round, and moved him to 4-under 276.
“DJ took the high road to take that penalty. This ordeal cannot be overlooked because of a multiple shot victory,” tweeted Jordan Spieth, who won the U.S. Open last year at Chambers Bay.
Even 14-time major champion Tiger Woods chimed in.
“Some great golf by @DJohnsonPGA all week, strong way to finish overcoming that rules farce. ...” he tweeted.
FURYK FIRES 66
With a hand over his heart, Jim Furyk, who was born in West Chester Pennsylvania, walked away from the 18th green with Sunday’s best round — a 4-under 66.
He finished at 1 under, a score that eventually earned him a share of second place with Scott Piercy and Ireland’s Shane Lowry. A sweeter finish, Furyk said, than the 2007 U.S. Open at Oakmont when he tied for second at 6 over.
“I played my heart out today,” he said.
DAY’S CHARGE FIZZLES
Jason Day appeared on the verge of a comeback. The Australian barreled to 1-under par — four strokes back of the lead — after eagling the 12th hole, and making birdie on the 13th. That was squandered on No. 17, which he double-bogeyed after finding a greenside bunker on three consecutive shots.