The calendar might still read 2014 and the PGA Tour schedule might say 2015, but it felt and looked a lot like 2013 on Sunday in Malaysia at the CIMB Classic. That’s because for the second straight year, Ryan Moore left Kuala Lampur Golf and Country Club with the title of CIMB classic champion after shooting all four rounds in the 60s including a Sunday 67.
Moore had eight birdies to earn his fourth title on Tour and get a fall win for the third consecutive year.
“It was incredible to finish the way I did coming down those last few holes,” Moore said. “I like to tell myself all the time that `I am a closer. Let’s just do what we can, hit good shots and let’s close this thing’ and I was able to do that.”
With the win, Moore became the first golfer on Tour to successfully defend his title since Tiger Woods won back-to-back Arnold Palmer Invitational’s in 2012 and 2013.
Just like in 2013 too, Moore held off Gary Woodland once again for the win. After six birdies in his first 15 holes Sunday, Woodland closed the gap to just one shot. He had a birdie opportunity on 16 to get things all square but the putt lipped out. He had another birdie putt on 18 that would have put some pressure on Moore coming down the stretch but that one lipped out too.
“The par fives cost me all week,” Woodland said. “I played beautifully outside the par fives.”
Woodland ended up finishing in a three-way tie for second with Sergio Garcia and Kevin Na.
Na and Garcia both had chances at wins before both getting derailed by trees. Na had the lead through 12 before losing it and got back into a tie at the top at 16. Then on 17, he put his tee shot into the top of a palm tree, forcing him to take a drop and resulting in a double bogey.
Garcia ended up in a tree on the 10th hole and like Na had to take a drop that resulted in a double bogey as well, effectively ending his chances at the title.
The Tour will stay in Asia this week as the WGC-HSBC Champions is being held in Shanghai, China. There will be no opportunity for a title defense this week though, as defending champion Dustin Johnson is sitting the event out as he continues his self imposed sabbatical.
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