Gaylord Sports, the Scottsdalebased agency that represents 30 PGA, LPGA, Nationwide and Grey Goose Gateway players, added another feather to its cap last week with the signing of former UNLV All-American Ryan Moore.
As feathers go, Moore is a rather large one. His amateur resumé ranks right up there with Gaylord Sports’ marquee player, Phil Mickelson. Arguably, Moore could be the biggest signing since Tiger Woods inked his deal with IMG in 1996.
Moore’s arrival at Gaylord also coincides with a multiyear deal the 22-year-old signed earlier this week with PING, a Phoenix-based golf club manufacturer. As is always the case, PING did not release terms of the contract, but several industry insiders said it "probably was in the $5 million range with incentives that could take it higher.’’
Steve Loy, the president/CEO of Gaylord Sports, said Moore "is a tremendous young player with victories to his credit (that are) second to none.’’
Moore’s illustrious amateur career includes wins at the 2004 U.S. Amateur and U.S. Public Links and NCAA championship, as well as the Western Open. He was also a two-time first-team All-American at UNLV and earned Academic All-America status in three of his four seasons.
John Solheim, the chairman/ CEO of PING, called Moore a player whose "caliber and character rarely comes along.’’ Moore, who grew up in Payallup, Wash., and lives in Las Vegas, recently turned pro at the Barclay’s Classic, where he tied for 51st. But he finished 13th at the Masters earlier this year to earn the crystal for low amateur.
By turning pro, Moore passed up an opportunity to play in the upcoming British Open as the reigning U.S. Amateur champ.
"My first priority is to get my PGA Tour card,’’ said Moore, who is relying on sponsors’ exemptions in an effort to earn enough money to avoid PGA Tour qualifying school in the fall.
"I had a great time as an amateur, but I have a great team around me and I feel now is the time to make this move.’’
Based on past accomplishments, it’s just a matter of time. Moore is one of only six players ever to win both the U.S. Amateur and NCAA championship, joining a list that includes Jack Nicklaus, Scott Verplank, Justin Leonard, Tiger Woods and Mickelson. And he is one of only two players to do it in the same year, joining Woods in that spotlight.
Moore is one of two players to ever win the U.S. Amateur and the U.S. Public Links in the same year, along with Billy Mayfair.