Moore Wins North and South Amateur


Sean Moore is 20-year-old golf traditionalist who follows the history of the game. For the final of the North & South Amateur, he donned a pair of plus-fours along with a white tam-o'-shanter cap, much like the outfit preferred by the late Payne Stewart.
Then Moore went out and joined Stewart as a winner at Pinehurst's famed No. 2 course.
After falling 3-down in the morning round, Moore rallied and eventually beat Ryan Posey on the first extra hole of their 36-hole match Sunday. The winning putt came from about 5 feet on the first hole, which set off a raucous celebration by Moore and his family and friends in the gallery.
He added his name to the list of previous winners from Wake Forest, including Curtis Strange, Billy Joe Patton and Billy Andrade. Posey lost in the final for the second consecutive year.
'It's just unbelievable,' said Moore, who will be a junior when classes start. 'Every time I walk through that hallway, I see those names on that plaque, and now I'm going to be on it, too. I really can't put that into words.'
Although the final birdie gave Moore the title, he enjoyed a brilliant four-hole stretch in the middle of the afternoon round to take the lead for the first time in about five hours. He played a nifty chip from the left of the green on the par-3 ninth and knocked in the putt for par, while Posey missed his effort from a couple of feet farther.
The 10th hole was halved with pars before Moore made consecutive birdies on 11 and 12 to go 1-up, then won the 15th hole with a par. But an errant drive at No. 16, a reachable par-5, forced Moore to lay up, while Posey was able to get to a greenside bunker with his second shot.
A delicate explosion out of the sand left Posey with an easy birdie, while the best Moore could do was par. The lead was down to 1-up.
'It's a long day out there, a lot of golf,' Moore said. 'Momentum can change hole-to-hole. It's tough to get it going, and it's tough to change.'
Moore held his lead to the 18th, where both players found the rough. Posey played first and left his approach about 25 feet below the hole, with an uphill putt. He seemingly had the advantage until Moore hit an even better shot: pin-high, about 5 feet left of the hole.
'I figured he already had his birdie,' Posey said.
With that knowledge, Posey had a free run at his birdie, and it went right in the center of the hole, leading to his emphatic fist-pump. Still, Moore had a great chance to end the match, and his putt looked as if it was in the whole way before spinning out.
They were heading to extra holes.
'I hit it right where I wanted to,' Moore said. 'In my mind, that means I made it, even if it didn't go in.'
Both found the green in regulation when the playoff started on No. 1, a relatively easy par-4, with Moore again only 5 feet away. Posey missed from about 20 feet before Moore stepped up for the win.
After taking his time with the read - he decided it was just outside the left of the hole - Moore calmly stroked it in for the victory.
'I had to play it outside the hole, which is saying something on a 5-footer,' Moore said. 'You just have to trust yourself to play it out there.'
For Posey, he was left with perhaps an even more heartbreaking defeat than a year ago. He carded a 5-under 66 on the first 18 to go 3-up, then struggled a bit in the afternoon. That he was able to birdie two of the final three holes to force a playoff gave him a bit of a consolation.
'I guess I feel like I had a better shot to win, so it's a little more disappointing,' Posey said. 'Do I feel like I should have won? Definitely. Had we kept playing this morning, things might have been different. I just couldn't stop it.'
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