MARICOPA, Ariz. (Jan. 5, 2014) -- University of Arkansas golfer Taylor Moore fired a final-round 70 to close a brilliant weekend of play and take home the inaugural Saguaro Amateur title.
Moore, who catapulted to the lead thanks to a second-round 65, held off charges from runners-up Trevor Simsby of Carlsbad, Calif. and A.J. McInerney of Henderson, Nevada to win by three shots at 12-under par. Simsby and McInerney, the runners up, both shot 69 on Sunday to finish three back at 9-under on the par 71 Southern Dunes layout.
Moore capped a strong trip to Arizona, having finished third at last week's Patriot All-America at Wigwam Golf Club.
“It means a lot to win this event especially with it being the first year,” said Moore in an Arkansas press release. “The putter was working for me this week and last week. I had just one three-putt over the two tournaments and I also managed my game really well and controlled the ball going into the greens. This definitely gives me some confidence, but is just a step in the right direction in a spring full of hard work.”
Grayson Murray, a recent transfer to Arizona State University and 2013 U.S. Open participant, fired the tournament-low round of 64 on Friday. He posted 72-71 over the weekend to finish in fourth place.
On Sunday the stage was all Moore's.
The Edmond, Okla. native bogeyed the first hole, but never looked back from there, finishing the front nine with 7 pars and a birdie at the par-3 4th. On the back Moore birdied the 11th, and closed with 7-straight pars. While McInerney birdied three of the last four holes, he was mainly battling Simsby for second place at that point.
Moore had the luxury of a four stroke lead heading into the final round after opening with a 66 and following it with a 65 on Saturday.
David Kim, Xander Schauffele and Austin Kaiser tied for fifth place in the inaugural playing of the event, a brainchild NCAA golf coaches Roy Edwards (Colorado) and Joe Jensen (Wyoming).
“We were having trouble locating a tournament for our players in their off-season to compete and get the rust off,” Edwards said. “We figured we were not the only ones having this issue. Coach Jensen and I decided to start our own event and to provide a competitive avenue in a great environment.”
Southern Dunes played at 7,150 yards.
View results for Saguaro Amateur 2015 Golf Tournament