Taylor Moore Claims First PGA Tour Title In Thrilling Valspar Championship Finale
The American birdied three of his last seven holes to pick up a maiden PGA Tour trophy
As the final holes played out at the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook, it seemed a number of players could have picked up the Valspar Championship title. However, after setting a challenging clubhouse target, it was Taylor Moore who came out on top, as the 29-year-old secured a first PGA Tour title.
The final day was full of drama, personified over the final two holes as Jordan Spieth missed a short birdie putt on the 17th and Adam Schenk was forced to play left-handed down the last as his tee shot finished inches from a tree. Despite making contact, the drive would ultimately cost him, as he bogeyed the 72nd hole to miss out by one.
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Beginning the final day, it was Schenk who held a slim one shot advantage over Spieth, with a number of names vying for the title and looking to build some momentum towards the first Major of the year, The Masters, just a few weeks away.
As the final groups began their last 18 holes, it was Schenk who started the brightest, with an early chip-in giving him the early lead. However, the likes of Spieth, Tommy Fleetwood and Moore were mounting charges and, throughout the front nine, the lead changed multiple times. By the end of the front nine, we saw a tie between Spieth and Schenk.
We were set up for a thrilling finale and, at the par 4 12th, just one of the many pivotal moments occurred, as Schenk holed a stunning 71-foot putt to breakout from a three-way tie. Certainly, it made it seem that the American was on his way to a first PGA Tour title but, in the middle of the back nine, it was Moore who delivered a number of blows, as birdies on the 12th, 15th and 16th gave him the lead momentarily, with the 29-year-old setting the clubhouse target at 10-under-par.
Soon came more drama as, at the par 4 16th, Spieth found the lake with his tee shot, but somehow still made a bogey. Following that, he then produced the shot of the day at the 17th, but his six-foot birdie putt failed to fall, leaving him one back of both Schenk and Moore.
If that wasn't enough, Schenk soon found trouble of his own off the 18th tee, with his drive finishing inches from a tree stump. This forced the 31-year-old to play a left-handed shot, which he did too well, as it found the rough on the other side of the fairway.
Needing to get up-and-down for a playoff, his approach caught the slope guarding the flag and, after coming to rest some 40-feet away, he would need a miracle to tie with Moore. A miracle is what he almost got, but his par putt had too much speed on it, with the attempt racing by and handing the title to Moore.
Matt joined Golf Monthly in February 2021 covering weekend news, before also transitioning to equipment and testing. After freelancing for Golf Monthly and The PGA for 18 months, he was offered a full-time position at the company in October 2022 and continues to cover weekend news and social media, as well as help look after Golf Monthly’s many buyers’ guides and equipment reviews.
Taking up the game when he was just seven years of age, Matt made it into his county squad just a year later and continues to play the game at a high standard, with a handicap of around 2-4. To date, his best round came in 2016, where he shot a six-under-par 66 having been seven-under through nine holes. He currently plays at Witney Lakes in Oxfordshire and his favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.
Matt’s current What’s In The Bag?
Driver: Honma TW747, 8.75°
Fairway Wood: TaylorMade Rocketballz Stage 2, 15°, 19°
Hybrid: Adams Super Hybrid, 22°
Irons: Mizuno MP54, 5-PW
Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Tour Satin, 50°, 56°, 60°
Putter: Cleveland TFI 2135 Satin Cero
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
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