Moore the Latest AJGA Alum to Win NCAA Championship

Ryan Moore’s list of junior accomplishments runs long. His college resume is running even longer after winning the NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championship Friday. Moore, who was playing as an individual after his UNLV team failed to reach the NCAA Championships, proved to be the class of the field.

The difficult Cascades Golf Course at The Homestead Resort was made even more dicey in the final round by the cold rain. Only seven of the 81 competitors played 72 holes under par, making Moore’s 13-under all the more impressive.

Moore entered the event as the nation’s No. 2 college player behind fellow AJGA alum Bill Haas of Wake Forest. He entered the final round with a two-stroke edge over former AJGA player and current Arizona Wildcat Chris Nallen. Moore carded a 4-under-par 66 in the round to make sure nobody caught him. In the end, Moore finished six shots ahead of Haas and Nallen, who tied for second at 7-under-par.

During his AJGA years, Moore won three AJGA events, including the 2001 Thunderbird International Junior. He was a first-team Rolex Junior All-American that same year.

Nallen was first-team Rolex Junior All-American in 2000, but may be best remembered for going toe-to-toe with Sergio Garcia at the 1998 Marsh Junior at Apawamis, eventually finishing runner-up to Garcia. Haas was a two-time honorable mention Rolex Junior All-American in 1998-99.

AJGA alumni rounded out the complete top nine, as Michael Putnam (Purdue) placed fourth, Travis Johnson (UCLA) finished fifth, John Holmes (Kentucky) and Mark Leon (Penn State) tied for sixth, and Jason Hartwick (Texas) and Matt Wells (Kentucky) shared eighth.

In the team competition, the California Golden Bears, featuring three AJGA alumni, won the title. Peter Tomasulo, who tied for 10th, Michael Wilson and Scott Carlyle, helped Cal to a remarkable 1-under-par in the final round to finish six shots ahead of runner-up UCLA.

The Bruins put together a starting five of AJGA veterans, including Johnson, who received the AJGA Jerry Cole Sportsmanship Award in 1998. The other players included Roy Moon, who tied for 10th with Johnson, as well as John Merrick, Steve Conway, and John Poucher.

Arizona placed third, on the strength of Nallen and four other AJGA alumni: Mark Lamb, Henry Liaw, Nick Juszczak and Josh Esler.

Fourth-place Texas was paced by five AJGA alumni, as well: Hartwick, Matthew Rosenfeld, Jeff Bell, Farren Keenan and Rusty Kennedy.

Georgia Tech rounded out the top five with, you guessed it, five AJGA alumni: Nicholas Thompson, Chan Wongluekiet, Michael Barbosa, Roberto Castro and Kevin Larsen.

In all, four of the top-five teams consisted entirely of AJGA alumni.