Haley Moore on the Warpath

Sensation Haley Moore Ready for LPGA Restart

To break through into one of the professional golf tours must be even more difficult than usual these days. With the virus explosion in the United States, nothing is normal, or even approaching normal. Still, like flowers growing through the sidewalk, the PGA and LPGA are re-emerging. For the men, tournaments are going without galleries, and for the women, alternate tours have had to suffice, such as the Cactus Tour.  The overseer of this incubator for great golfers, and haven for stymied veterans, was sustained through serious criticism, but they’re doing it. At the end of July, the LPGA will restart its customary schedule, and Haley Moore is so ready for it.

Every year, we talk about the upcoming talents that will make the pro tour exciting, and we are always right, although not always in the way we expected.  I’m going to fall for it again this year, but this may not be any old year. Haley Moore is ready to do battle with the top of the field, and she’s not preparing by sitting at home. Moore has been able to enter eleven Cactus events while waiting for the big moment, and she’s won three of them.

It isn’t just that she has won three of eleven events, which is prodigious enough in most books. It is the way in which she is winning them. in the most recent victory, she began the fourth round one behind Alena Sharp,, but won the day by nine, a ten-point swing in a region featuring temperatures that should drive a normal human being inside. No one else even broke 70. Last week, she did the same thing with a 64.

Haley isn’t a kid anymore. She’s coming to the tour with an understandably high degree of confidence, a game that is literally on fire, and the new perspective of a player in her 20s. As the age of LPGA winners has dropped in recent years, and precocious wunderkinds threaten to take over the pro game, Moore may be the next glaring example of youth and discipline coexisting. She is also an apt part of the conversation that started in the past few weeks with Bryson DeChambeau.  They are both prolifically strong players with touch, and both have proven beyond the shadow of a doubt that the two qualities can go together. Being a big hitter brings a lot of attention, but these players are gold on the green and fringe as well.

Moore will be present for the first two events of the restart at the month’s end in Toledo. If TV spectators are looking for the next great thing in a player, it’s more than enough reason to tune in.  No one knows what a particular golfer will do in any situation, but to routinely wipe out the competition with absurdly low scores on day four demands that we take note.  Obviously, great players have single-handedly inspired viewership through the years. From the Big Three to Tiger Woods,  Anika and Lorena, the game has been saved from its lower moments.

In the generation about to occupy the new LPGA, we have a field of young women who have now played at Augusta, and even in their first pro tournaments have looked good against the veterans. The Paula Creamer and Lexi Thompson generation has moved on to the status of wizened sages, but the Kupchos, the Panos, and Haley Moore are undaunted.

Time will tell whether an alternate tour such as the Cactus is a better idea than restarting the men with no gallery, but it has certainly done Haley Moore no harm.  Anyone with a “meh” attitude toward the LPGA is, I believe, going to regret giving in to it.  Your presence and attention are expected at Toledo  in a couple of weeks. Haley Moore is coming, and looks like she means business.

 

 

 

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