Ryan Moore wins the CIMB Classic

Ryan Moore (Courtesy: Zimbio.com)

Ryan Moore (Courtesy: Zimbio.com)

Ryan Moore defeated Gary Woodland on the first hole of a sudden death playoff at Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club, winning the 2013 CIMB Classic.

What Happened

No matter where the PGA Tour goes these days, they can’t seem to avoid bad weather. The final round was pretty entertaining, with back and forth lead changes and players constantly jumping in and out of contention, but a lengthy rain delay caused the final round to run later than expected. Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Chris Stroud, Graham DeLaet and others all made a run for the title, but at the end of the fourth round, Moore and Woodland were left standing at 14-under par in near darkness at Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club. The players decided that rather than finish it right there, with extremely limited visibility, they would come back on Monday morning for the sudden death playoff.

The 634-yard par-5 would be the playoff hole, which gave Moore a bit of advantage, as Woodland’s obscene length off of the tee was neutralized. Woodland wasn’t going to be able to reach the green in two shots, making it a battle of wedges into the green. Both players found the fairway from the tee, and attempted to lay up, with Moore ending up in the fairway and Woodland in the first cut of rough. Moore’s approach into the green was near perfect, landing four feet from the hole, while Woodland ended up short in the rough.

After a good chip by Woodland ended up just short, Moore would tap in from four feet for his third career PGA Tour win.

Final Leaderboard

  • 1. Ryan Moore -14 *wins in playoff*
  • 2. Gary Woodland -14 *loses in playoff*
  • T3. Kiradech Aphibarnrat -13
  • T3. Chris Stroud -13
  • 5. Aaron Baddeley -12

What The Win Means For Moore

When I selected Moore this week in my betting preview, I mentioned that Moore was one of those guys that has underachieved in his career to this point. This is only his third career PGA Tour win, which is a solid career, but certainly not the amount that he was expected to have at 30-years old. I do think that this could be a breakout for Moore, as he now has two PGA Tour wins in his last 12 months, and his talent has never been in question.

He moves into second place in the FedEx Cup standings, sitting just behind Jimmy Walker. What this also does is it gets him a guaranteed spot at the Masters and PGA Championship this season, as well as the Hyundai Tournament of Champions. He will also move to 31st in the Official World Golf Rankings, and while he’s currently a long shot for the American Ryder Cup team, he has a chance to put himself into the conversation.

Aphibarnrat’s here to stay

One of the great things about golf is how global the game has become over the years, and a player like Aphibarnrat getting a chance to shine can only bring good things to the game. Aphibarnrat got into the tournament through the Asian Tour, who is co-sanctioning the event this week with the PGA Tour, and if you watch the game closely, you’ve seen him a few times in 2013. He won on this very course at the Malaysian Open earlier this year, and ended up playing at the Open Championship, the Bridgestone and the PGA.

He’s talked openly about his goal of playing full time on the PGA Tour, and a win here would have granted him his two-year exemption, plus entry to the Masters and a whole host of other privileges that the players really covet. His style of play, with surprisingly accurate ball striking considering how wild and aggressive the swing looks, would be a perfect fit for the PGA Tour and you could tell how desperately he wanted this win in the dying minutes of the final round. He had his chances and he let it slip through his chubby fingers, but if he keeps playing like this, the 24-year old will get to the PGA Tour in short order, and that’s a very good thing for the game.

Based on his finish, he is able to play in the McGladreys next week, and according to PGATour.com, we’re probably going to see him in the field:

“I think the schedule will change right now,” Aphibarnrat said. “If I have my chance even like just 1 percent, I will try and do it.”

Phil Mickelson is terrible, according to Phil Mickelson

“The path of the club is too inside, then it’s vertical, the head’s moving, my legs are loose. Divots are steep. It’s terrible. Right now, the difficulty is I may make some decent swings and not miss too much, but I don’t know if I’m missing it left or right.”

Those quotes are after the first two rounds this week, in which Mickelson was under par in both and not too far back of the leaders at -3. Phil’s one of the best players in the world, so obviously he has a severely high expectation level, but man, he sounds like a guy who was at the bottom of the board after firing back-to-back 85’s. He ended up tied for 19th at 5-under par after rounds of 68 and 74 on the weekend.

Bo Van Pelt misses The Mines

Bo Van Pelt won this tournament back in 2011 at a different venue, the Mines Resort and Golf Club. He’s only picked up one win worldwide since then, and after a second round 77, he tweeted this:

Considering the kind of season he had in 2013, with only one top-10 in 22 appearances, he seems to be missing a lot of things at the moment. Rounds of 69 and 65 on the weekend should have him in better spirits heading to Shanghai next week though.

Other Notes

  • No cut with the short field this week. Notable finishes: Graham DeLaet (T7), Keegan Bradley (10th), Sergio Garcia (T11), Bill Haas (T16), Rickie Fowler and Phil Mickelson (T19), Hideki Matsuyama (T25), Bubba Watson (T31), Nick Watney (T35) and Ernie Els (T47).
  • A lot was made this week about Woodland getting some putting tips from Mickelson and that helping him get to the top of the leaderboard, but that happens every week on the PGA Tour with these guys. The bigger thing for Woodland, and this goes back to last year, was getting his short game in order with the help of Pat Goss. Former Adam Scott and Greg Norman caddie Tony Navarro is also now on the bag for Woodland, and that should also make a huge difference for the 29-year old, who hasn’t always had the best course management.
  • Bubba Watson goes kid bowling during the rain delay.
  • Another interesting rules discussion this week, with Aphibarnrat eventually not getting penalized for grounding his club on the 13th. Video below:

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