Jul 26, 2021
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – It’s been a whirlwind 24 hours for Taylor Moore. First came his lowest career round and a course record 11-under 60 on Saturday. And on Sunday, the 27-year-old held off Erik Barnes to earn his first Korn Ferry Tour win at the Memorial Health Championship presented by LRS and secure his first PGA TOUR card in the process.
“Yeah, just a ton of excitement obviously,” said Moore. “Been trying to get a win out here for four or five seasons and to finally get it done means a lot. It´s even just icing on the cake for me that I locked up my first TOUR card as well. All in all, a great day. I had an awesome day out there, bogey-free, did exactly what I wanted to do and I was able to get it done.”
Beginning the day in a tie for the lead, Moore carded birdies at the fourth, fifth and seventh holes to make the turn at 3-under. He collected three more on the back nine at Nos. 13, 15 and 16 to build a three-shot advantage that proved to be the winning margin.
“That was sick, that was a lot of fun,” laughed Moore of his “champion’s walk” to scoring. “I have some buddies out here, some caddies spraying me with some beer and celebrating a little bit. That was cool. It was a cool moment for me.”
At 14 years old, Moore nearly chose to play varsity baseball over golf. He attended elite camps and felt he could have a future there. In the end, he chose golf, earned a scholarship at the University of Arkansas, and later turned pro.
With his finish this week, Moore moves to sixth in the Korn Ferry Tour points standings and passes the Tour’s fail-safe threshold of 1,650 points that guarantees he will finish in the top-25 in the regular season, thus earning PGA TOUR membership for the 2021-22 season.
“I was very close [to playing baseball],” reflected Moore. “I was going to some pretty high-level camps at 14 years old for baseball. Growing up, my dad was a high school and college baseball coach. It was just second nature for me and I loved the game. For whatever reason, deep down I made the decision to play golf and quit baseball. Yeah, I just like being in control, I like winning and losing on my own, I like everything that happens is on me and I love that part of the game. I decided to go with golf.”
In 2019, Moore was having some discomfort in his chest and decided to go to the emergency room instead of getting on a plane. He was diagnosed with a collapsed lung which could have been life-threatening with the air pressure on the plane.
“That was obviously a scary deal at the time,” said Moore. “I know we talked about it a little bit. Just gave me a new perspective on life and golf and how I wanted to kind of live my life. Yeah, to come from that in March of ´19, locking up my TOUR card today has been a work in progress.”
At 27-under 257, Moore set a new tournament record at the 2021 Memorial Health Championship presented by LRS. The total outpaces Anders Albertson’s 259 from 2018.
“It´s why I do what I do day in and day out,” said Moore of reaching the TOUR. “I made the decision to do this game at 14 years old and I´ve worked every day to be on the PGA TOUR and to be one of the top players in the world and this is a step in the right direction. I´m just really, really excited to keep playing well and get started on the TOUR next year.”
The runner-up finish was the third of Barnes’ career, but does advance him from 43rd to 27th in the points standings. Andrew Novak carded a final-round 63 to rise to a solo-third finish and, at 16th in the standings, is on the edge of earning his first PGA TOUR card.