Round One of LPGA Q-Series saw a hot start from former University of Arizona Wildcat Haley Moore. The 23-year-old carded a 5-under 67 to sit one back of the lead after Thursday play, making six birdies and just one bogey on the Crossings Course at Magnolia Grove. Moore is one of many 2020 rookies with a second shot at her inaugural year on the LPGA Tour and while 2021 wasn’t as fruitful on the golf course as she might have hoped, a good day one in Mobile, Ala., has bolstered her confidence ahead of the stress that will come with the next seven rounds.
“I think ball-striking all day today was really good,” said Moore who made six birdies and one bogey in the first round. “My putter was pretty solid all day. These greens are super quick in some areas, so placing the ball kind of in the right part of the green is key. I really tried to focus on that today. I know that this week, it's a marathon out here, so pace yourself. Having one bad round is not going to kill you out here. Today you know you will have some breathing room as of right now, but really not going to focus on that. Just going to keep playing well for this whole week.”
Even though she’s still considered a rookie, Moore knows how grueling this much golf in such a short amount of time can be, a lesson she learned the last time she was in this position in 2019 where she ended up finishing T11. Conserving energy will be key for every player in the field over the course of the next two weeks and for Moore, not over-practicing is a major point of emphasis at Magnolia Grove, one that seems to be working well for her thus far.
“I came here early, played two 18-hole days, and then (Wednesday) and Tuesday I just kind of played nine holes on each course and drove around one more time,” Moore said. “I knew we were going to be having four rounds here, four rounds next week. It's going to be a toll on your body, and you do not want to tire yourself out. That's kind of what I learned from last year. Do a little practice here and there after your rounds, but don't do too much. You want to make sure you have enough gas to get through everything.”
As she turns her attention to the Falls Course, Moore isn’t planning on making too many adjustments to her strategy. Putting will be at a premium on Friday considering Falls has slopier greens, but Moore knows that sometimes around trickier golf courses, making par is more than enough to get the job done.
“The Falls course definitely has some more undulations on the greens, so placing the ball on that course where the pin is is going to be key to make sure you have the straightest putt. You might have some more breaking putts. Those ones you're going to have to be cautious on. You have attackable holes and holes that, if you get out of there with par, you're good. I know I might have some miss-hits here and there, but I know it's golf, it happens. Some days you're on, some days you're not. Just kind of if I am not having the best day out there, just know that par is okay out here.”