Unheralded American Moore wins shootout for PGA Valspar title

Unheralded Taylor Moore birdied two of the last four holes to win a back-nine shootout on Sunday and capture the Valspar Championship for his first PGA title.

The 29-year-old American fired a four-under par 67 — the only round in the 60s among the final 11 pairs on the course — to finish 72 holes on 10-under 274 at Innisbrook’s Copperhead course in Palm Harbor, Florida.

That was good enough to edge Adam Schenk by one stroke with England’s Tommy Fleetwood and three-time major winner Jordan Spieth sharing third on 276.

Moore, in only his 46th PGA start, sank a six-foot birdie putt at the par-3 15th and made a 26-foot birdie putt at the par-4 16th, then closed with back-to-back pars while Spieth and Schenk stumbled down the stretch.

“It hasn’t really hit me yet,” Moore said. “I was just in compete mode and then watching the guys finish.

“It’s so cool, so awesome. It’s what I work for and I’m really excited not only but for me but for everybody around me and on my team. Yeah, cool moment.”

Moore’s best prior PGA finish was a share of fourth in last year’s pairs event at New Orleans.

Spieth, Schenk and Moore shared the lead at 10-under entering the final holes, but Spieth was undone when his tee shot at the 16th found a watery grave and Schenk went left beyond a cart path then over the green.


Moore sank a five-foot par putt at 18 to finish perfect inside seven feet for the week, but moments later Spieth made a clutch 14-foot bogey putt at 16 and Schenk followed with a six-foot par putt to keep a share of the lead.

At the par-3 17th, Schenk found a bunker but saved par on a 16-foot putt to stay tied for the lead while Spieth missed a seven-foot birdie putt and remained one back.

At the par-4 18th, Schenk’s tee shot sailed left and landed next to a tree. He then blasted cross-handed into greenside rough and left himself 41 feet for par to reach a playoff while Spieth had a 48-foot birdie putt to reach a playoff.

Spieth’s putt ran past and Schenk’s hit the hole and bounced over, both making bogeys to hand Moore his first PGA victory.


Schenk’s runner-up showing was a PGA career best but he missed out on a chance at his first title in his 165th tour start, his 10th in a row ahead of becoming a father next month.

World number 14 Spieth, the 2015 Valspar champion, missed out on his 14th career PGA title.

Fleetwood, a six-time winner on the European Tour and a four-time PGA runner-up, missed out on his first PGA victory after 111 starts. His most recent victory was at last November’s Nedbank Challenge in South Africa.

The Englishman put his approach at the par-5 11th inside four feet and made the birdie putt to grab a share of the lead but was thwarted by a bogey at the par-5 14th when he needed two strokes to escape a greenside bunker.