Ryan Moore made his mark on the McLennan Ross/Sun Junior Golf Tour last season when he shot a nifty 66 to win the tour stop at his home course in Ponoka.
But the 18-year-old, who just finished his first year at MacEwan College in Edmonton, is looking to put together an even bigger season and grab the attention of college scouts.
“I looked at going to the Phoenix Golf Academy, but I haven’t received any real scholarship offers yet,” he said during the tour’s press conference at Wolf Creek Golf Resort Tuesday afternoon.
“But I hope to have a good year and maybe a couple of offers will come up.”
Bettering his 66 and winning the tour championship (Aug. 31 at Wolf Creek) would be a nice way to finish his last year on the tour.
“Those are definitely two of my main goals, along with competing in the Alberta junior championship,” he said.
“That would be great experience and give me more exposure.”
Moore, who will spend most of the season on the McLennan Ross tour, beginning with the Drayton Valley event, June 13, took up golf at age seven and was playing competitively when he was 10.
He’s had a good junior career, but feels he can do even better.
“There are a few things I need to work on,” he said.
“My putting can be better, but my biggest problem is keeping my focus on the course. I seem to lose it at times and those little errors hurt me.”
But he had few errors during his six-under par 66, although he did double bogey the par-three 17th.
“It could have been better, but I was still happy with it, especially when you go that low in tournament play.”
Entering his sixth season, Moore is one of the veterans on the McLennan Ross tour, and has seen a big change over the years.
“The competition is getting better every year,” he said. “When I was younger it wasn’t that good, but you can see it improving every year and today the younger guys are throwing up some great numbers.”
One of those youngsters is 15-year-old James Ursulak of Ponoka.
Ursulak has only been playing competitive golf for three years, but is one of the top competitors in his age class.
“But there are a lot of good players in my age group and so I have to keep getting better to compete,” he said. “This tour is good for that.”
Ursulak, who practises with Moore when he can, has seen a big improvement in his game over the last couple of years.
“The more experience I get the better, plus I practise a lot. I can see my game improving. I hit the ball further and my scores are going down each year.
“Right now I think my short game is my strength while I still need to work on my (longer) irons.”
Ursulak is looking to finish near the top in his age class on the tour and make the Alberta junior championship.
“I’ll play a lot on this tour plus in a couple of Alberta events so I can qualify for the provincials,” he said.