Moore seeks Valspar repeat after landing first win on tour

golf19 March 2024 21:00| Ā© Reuters
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Taylor Moore Ā© Getty Images

As is the case with many golfers, one PGA Tour victory changed Taylor Moore's career trajectory.

For Moore, that breakthrough came at the 2023 Valspar Championship, a title he'll seek to defend this week in Tampa, Florida.

Moore was 29 years old and had played his way through PGA Tour Canada and the Korn Ferry Tour to reach the big time.

"It just gave me some confidence, knowing that I knew I could compete out here and be in contention on Sunday, but until you actually hoist that trophy and get it done, I guess you never really know," Moore said on Tuesday. 

"So it gave me that affirmation that I could do it out here on Sundays on the back nine when I am in contention."

It gave him much more than that. Moore got into the majors, making the cut at the Masters and the PGA Championship.

He picked up three more top-five finishes, accruing the FedEx Cup points necessary to reach the Tour Championship.

"I think for me it was (that) I knew I was in the majors the rest of the year basically, but I knew I needed to finish well to get into everything this year," Moore said.

"Obviously with how our schedule is now, too, getting into those signature events and elevated stuff was definitely a priority. Obviously a win takes care of a lot of that.

"Yeah, getting to (the Tour Championship) for the first time as well as setting up my schedule for this year was massive. But I think once the win kind of wore off after that stretch you were talking about, I just wanted to keep getting better each and every week, and that's what me and my team talk about every week is -- how can I keep getting better and how can I evaluate where I'm at and put one foot in front of the other and just take it week by week."

Moore hasn't missed a cut yet in seven starts this season, though he feels he has yet to put four complete rounds together. He hopes it can come together at the familiar confines of Innisbrook Resort's Copperhead Course.

The Valspar has had repeat winners in recent years: Sam Burns (2021-22) and England's Paul Casey (2018-19).

"It would be awesome" to repeat, Moore said. "I think, first time having to defend, too. Like, when I did win on the Canadian Tour, I didn't get an opportunity. When I won on Korn Ferry Tour my last year out there, I didn't get the opportunity to defend. So obviously having that opportunity is amazing and something that I'm going to embrace.

"Getting my first tour win here was awesome, and getting my second here would be even better."