Ryan Moore, intoned one player in a mock announcers voice, has no idea how far it is to the hole.
At which point Moore knocked it nearly stone cold dead for a virtual kick-in birdie that earned him a runner-up tie with Ben Crane.
All the players in the locker room could do was nod in amazement.
I obviously wanted to make a birdie, Moore said afterward.
He wanted to make a birdie because he wanted to earn enough money to surpass No. 150 on last years money list which would enables him to receive unlimited sponsors exemptions for the rest of the year.
That goal has been attained. Moore has now won $460,980 in 2005. His next goal is to win $162,282 the rest of the year which would get him past the $623,262 Tag Ridings earned last year while finishing 125th on the money list. If Moore achieves that goal, he will get his card for 2006.
Even better for him will be if he finishes in the top 125 which will make him exempt for 2006. Hes going to play everything he can get into, said Moores brother, Jeremy, who travels with Ryan and serves as a kind of manager, friend and confidante. Moore is also represented by Gaylord Sports Management which has assigned the very able Cricket Musch, a former college golf coach, to help in the day-to-day decision-making processes.
Moore is not listed on the official money list right now because he is not a PGA Tour member. But if he was, he would rank No. 134 on the list. In short, he is very close to becoming the first player since Tiger Woods in 1996 to walk off a college campus and grab his card that same year without having to trudge off to Q-School.
Not bad for a guy who struggled earlier this year in his early weeks as a pro before deciding to take a five-week break from tournament golf. The simple act of turning pro was nothing less than a major distraction, said Jeremy Moore.
In other words, the immediate adjustment was highly stressful.
So Ryan Moore took the five-week break that left a lot of people scratching their heads. But when he returned to the Tour last week he was fresh.
Which brings us back, in a roundabout kind of way, to the yardage books. Heres the deal:
Moore carries a yardage book, but hed rather play by feel. He realizes he needs to know how far it is to the front of the green and how many yards on the pin is. What he doesnt want to know is how far it is to that hump or this bump or that shelf or this mound.
He believes too much information can be a bad thing. And he is very mindful that Ben Hogan, for the most part, played without a yardage book or marked sprinkler heads.
Hes very much aware of those guys from that era, Jeremy Moore said. Hogan is a very good example of the player Ryan wants to become.
And just so nobody misinterprets: Ryan Moore isnt presenting himself as the second coming of Ben Hogan. But he respects the way Hogan and his peers achieved what they achieved and the way they went about their business.
Business, by the way, is getting better fast for Ryan Moore.
Email your thoughts to Brian Hewitt