Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (SportsNetwork.com) – Ryan Moore closed with his second
straight 5-under 67 on Sunday and that helped him repeat as champion at the
Moore finished at 17-under-par 271. The victory was his fourth on the PGA
Tour, and first since he won this event last year.
He became the first player to successfully defend a title on the PGA Tour
since Tiger Woods won the Arnold Palmer Invitational in 2012 and 2013.
“It’s has been a great week. I’m a little at a loss for words to defend my
title. It is something I have never done before,” Moore said. “It makes it
that much more special to do it the way I did.
“I hit some great shots coming down the stretch and made some birdies when I
really needed to. I just scraped in a par there at the last hole. I knew I
didn’t need it, but it’s still fun to finish that way.”
Kevin Na shared the third-round lead with Moore, but Na posted a 2-under 70 at
Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club and he dropped into a share of second at
minus-14. Na was joined there by Gary Woodland (67) and Sergio Garcia (69).
Woodland lost to Moore in a playoff last year at this event.
Cameron Smith (68) and Sang-Moon Bae (69) tied for fifth place at 12-under-par
276. John Senden carded a 4-under 68 in the final round and he grabbed seventh
place at 11-under 277.
Davis Love III shot 68 in the final round and he ended in a tie for eighth at
minus-10. He finished alongside Rory Sabbatini (66), Angelo Que (70), Prom
Meesawat (69) and Billy Hurley III (73).
Moore and Na battled throughout the round. Na opened with a birdie at the
first to move one ahead, but Moore answered with a birdie at the second.
Na got up and down for birdie on the par-5 third and followed with another
birdie at the fourth to move two clear at 15-under. Moore inched within one as
he birdied the fifth.
However, Moore gave that shot right back as he bogeyed No. 6. Moore atoned for
that mistake with a 5-foot birdie effort at the seventh. Moore briefly joined
Na in the lead as he birdied the ninth from eight feet out.
Na also birdied No. 9, from about four feet out, to get to 16-under. Moore
played his third at the par-5 10th to four feet and he rolled that putt in for
birdie and a share of the lead alongside Na.
Moore stumbled to a bogey at the 12th and Na followed with a bogey at 13. It
was all Moore from there.
At the short 14th, Moore played an iron off the tee before stuffing his second
shot to a foot. He made birdie to move ahead by one as Na failed to get up and
down for birdie after his drive rolled just over the green.
Moore converted a 7-footer for birdie at the 15th to move two clear. He failed
to save par from a greenside bunker, but was still ahead by one.
The 17th proved to be the deciding factor. Na pushed his tee shot right of the
fairway and his ball was never found. The lost ball led to a double-bogey,
which dropped him four back as Moore kicked in a short birdie try.
Moore got up and down for par at the last to seal the win.
“Last year was a lot more stressful. I had to get up and down from 65 yards
just to get into a playoff last year,” Moore explained. “But I made it a
little too interesting there. I hit a few squirrelly shots (down the stretch
Na closed with a birdie to share second.
Garcia, who played in the final group with Moore and Na, had three birdies on
the front nine and was two off the lead at the turn. But, his tee shot at the
par-5 10th hit a cart path and was never found.
That led to a double-bogey, which dropped him four behind. Garcia bounced back
with a birdie at 11 and he made another at 14 to get back to minus-14. He
closed with four pars in a row to end there.
Woodland also had three birdies on the front nine. He had three more in the
first six holes of the back nine. His birdie at 15 briefly gave him a piece of
the lead, but Woodland parred the next two holes before closing with a bogey
at the last to finish three behind.
NOTES: Moore collected $1.26 million for the win … Moore has won three of
the six times he had at least a share of the 54-hole lead … Love posted his
first top-10 finish since the 2012 McGladrey Classic … There are a pair of
events next week for the PGA Tour. The top players will be in China for the
WGC-HSBC Champions, where Dustin Johnson won last year, but he will not defend
his title, while the remainder of the tour will be in Mississippi for the
Sanderson Farms Championship, which Woody Austin won the last time the event
was held in 2013.