One of the biggest names in professional golf in Washington didn’t hesitate to make a return to the Pacific Northwest.
Cascade Christian High School 2001 graduate Ryan Moore returned to the South Sound last week to attend the American Junior Golf Association Ryan Moore Junior Championship at the RMG Club at Oakbrook in Lakewood. This is the second consecutive year Moore has sponsored the tournament. Moore won three AJGA tournament titles during his amateur days.
“It is important to me, and I just wanted to make it happen,” Moore said of hosting the AJGA event. “I’m always looking for ways promote golf and grow it in this area. When I was contacted about potentially having a tournament in the Northwest, at that point I didn’t realize there wasn’t an AJGA tourney up here anymore. As soon as I learned that, I said, ‘Let’s do whatever we need to do to make that happen.’ We just went from there and got behind it. Back when I was a junior golfer, AJGA tournaments were always important for me because those were the tournaments with great national recognition.”
Moore, who lives full-time in Las Vegas with his wife Nichole and son Tucker, said he doesn’t spend much time in Washington due to the rigorous PGA Tour schedule.
“I get home for about two or three weeks a year with this week being one of them,” he said. “It’s a great place to be in the summer.”
Moore said he’s never felt like golf has been a job during his amateur and professional career.
“The most important thing for me is that I have always remembered that it’s a game and to have fun with it,” said Moore, who’s currently No. 40 in the World Golf Rankings. “If golf is overly frustrating for someone, then maybe its not for them. It has always been fun for me. My parents did a great job of keeping me in that place where it wasn’t a job to me as a junior golfer, it was a privilege to go out and play golf every day or every other day. It was always something I wanted to do. Keeping me in that perspective was huge.”
With the 2015 U.S. Open a little less than a year away at Chambers Bay in University Place, Moore said he hopes to be part of the field.
“It’s not guaranteed yet. There are a few ways before the end of this season that I can make sure I will be in the tournament,” he said. “I’m going to do everything I can to make that happen. I’m excited for it, but at this point I still have to get myself into it.”
Moore said he’s pretty familiar with the Chambers Bay course but downplayed the importance of knowing the surroundings.
“It’s a golf course I’m going to have the chance to play quite a few times before (the U.S. Open) when a lot of other people probably won’t get as much of an opportunity, but it’s still golf,” he said. “If you get somebody who comes out and gets comfortable on the course over a couple of days, they have the ability to get on fire and play good golf.”