SILVIS, Ill.—For all the late pars and the closing run of 46 holes without a bogey, Ryan Moore thought the key to his victory yesterday in the John Deere Classic was a 24-foot birdie putt on the fourth hole.
It moved him to 20-under and kept him two strokes ahead of Morgan Hoffmann, who was about to birdie the fifth hole.
“That was huge to get another birdie early, just to show the guys behind me I’m not messing around,” Moore said.
“The worst thing to do is to be even or one-over after five or six holes,” he noted.
“Then all of a sudden you’ve got 10 guys thinking, ‘All right, I can go get this today.’”
With Moore making three birdies on the front nine and another on the 10th hole en route to a four-under 67, they had no chance.
He won his fifth PGA Tour title by two strokes over Ben Martin.
The 33-year-old Moore finished at 22-under 262 at TPC Deere Run—making only one bogey in 72 holes.
He won for the first time since successfully defending his CIMB Classic title in Malaysia back in 2014.
“Every win is a little different,” Moore remarked.
“I like how steady this was, with no bogeys on the weekend.”
Martin had three-straight back-nine birdies for a 68.
“I never got a whole lot going,” Martin admitted. “I just told [Moore], ‘You couldn’t make one bogey out there for me today?’
“Hats off to him for just a solid round of golf,” Martin added.
“I don’t think he really ever sniffed a bogey.”
South Korea’s Whee Kim shot 67 to tie for third with Hoffmann (71) at 17-under.
Moore closed with eight pars.
Martin, playing with Moore in the final twosome, birdied Nos. 12-14 but couldn’t get closer than two strokes.
Martin parred his last four holes, and Hoffmann his final six.
“I just wanted to make a putt, which didn’t happen all day,” Hoffmann noted.
“In the middle of the round, it kind of went sideways.”
Wesley Bryan, the leader Friday when play was suspended, wound up tied for eighth at 14-under after his second-straight 70.
He earned a PGA Tour card last week with his third Web.com Tour victory of the year.