One day, Puyallup’s Ryan Moore might try to explain it all.
Maybe the longtime professional golfer will take his son, Sullivan, out for ice cream, and detail how the boy’s early-spring arrival impacted the greatest season his father’s had on the PGA Tour.
In a whirlwind two-month, late-summer stretch, Moore won his fifth PGA Tour title at the John Deere Classic. He stared down but eventually lost one of the most memorable sudden-death playoff duels to Northern Ireland star Rory McIlroy at The Tour Championship.
And, of course, he sank the winning putt that clinched the Ryder Cup in his debut for the U.S. squad.
All of that wore Moore out. And it filled him with the most satisfying journey of his life.
“(The Ryder Cup) was all new to me,” Moore said. “I did not have any expectations of how nervous I would be, or how stressful of a week it would be. And it was extremely stressful. It was extremely exhausting. Everyone could have tried to explain all of that to me, but it was way more overwhelming than I thought it would be.”
And he is quick to point out that if he had not rearranged his playing schedule in anticipation of his second son’s birth, all of this might not have happened.
“A lot of that was because of Sullivan,” Moore said.
Unlike in 2015, when he arrived for his hometown U.S. Open at Chambers Bay dead tired and mentally drained, heading into last year’s national open at Oakmont some three weeks after Sullivan was born, Moore felt fresh and rejuvenated.
“I played so well because I rested up,” Moore said.
The long break left him enough in the tank to tackle the busiest span of tournaments in his 11 seasons on the PGA Tour, playing in eight events in nine weeks — starting with the PGA Championship in late July.
The longer it went on, the better he played: Besides his win, he had three other top-10 finishes. Overall, the $2.21 million he made over the final seven tournaments before the Ryder Cup was the most money he had collected over any two-month stretch of his career.
Which is why he is aiming to stick to that same blueprint this season.
“I am going to make myself take a monthlong break before the summertime,” Moore said. “That might be in May this year, or early in June. I like those summer months, and want to be playing a lot leading up to the playoffs. That is my priority now, realizing I have a good chance of winning the FedEx Cup.”
Of course, there will be more Ryder Cups. The next one is in 2018 at Le Golf National in Guyancourt, France, where the U.S. team will defend the title it won at Hazeltine Golf Club in Chaska, Minnesota, in October.
“For any golfer, that is a bucket-list moment,” Moore said. “And I got to be part of a winning team and all of that. My experience was so great, if I do not make another one, I will be OK. But I’d love to make another one at this point in my career.”
As far as how that Ryder Cup experience should impact how he fares at future major championships, Moore, 34, isn’t sure.
“I have to wait to experience a major again to know,” the Cascade Christian graduate said. “It definitely helps to have played under that kind of pressure, and thrive the way I did at the end of my singles match (against Lee Westwood).
“That certainly encourages me for the future.”
The Ryan Moore file
Hometown: Puyallup/Las Vegas.
High school/college: Cascade Christian/UNLV.
Recap of 2016 season: Won his fifth PGA Tour title at the John Deere Classic in August. Made 19 of 23 cuts, with nine top-10 finishes. Earned a career-best $3.7 million. Sank winning putt to clinch Ryder Cup for U.S. squad.
Caddie: J.J. Jakovac.
Agent: Jeremy Moore.
Instructor: Troy Denton.
In the bag: PXG 0811 driver, PXG 0341x 3-wood, PXG 0317 hybrids (19 and 22 degrees), PXG 0311T irons, PXG 0311T wedges (54 and 60 degrees), Odyssey White Hot Rx V-line Fang putter, Titleist Pro V1x golf ball.