Features, Sports

Future bright for NMSU golfer

Since he was 16 years old, Keegan Moore has known that his future career lay in professional golf. Formerly a baseball player, Moore tore his rotator cuff in his right shoulder at age fifteen, ending his future in baseball.

“I was pitching, [and] I just remember coming home after a game and my shoulder was killing me,” Moore recalls, “It was heartbreaking. I basically decided that I hated the sport [of baseball] and it had no place in my life anymore. It was just a really low point in my life.”

However, soon after Moore’s injury, he discovered his potential in golf. Moore’s father was a talented golfer in his youth, and he found inspiration in his family’s history with the sport.

NMSU golfer Keegan Moore appears on the New Mexico State University golf course in Las Cruces. (Photo by Minzy Sartor)

“I’ve always looked up to my dad,” Moore said, “I’ve always kind of wanted to be like him. I kind of just realized that golf was something that was right for me to do. I’ve played my whole life, but I didn’t really take it seriously until I was about sixteen.”

The decision to pursue golf professionally has paid off for Moore. Currently, he is listed at No. 6 on the money list, meaning out of all the professional golf management majors at New Mexico State, Moore has made the sixth-most money from tournaments in the fall 2017 semester.

This semester alone, Moore has finished in the top five at seven separate tournaments, and has taken second place three times. On the weekend of Oct. 6, Moore tied for second place at the Desert Lakes PGA Golf Management Tournament in Ruidoso, New Mexico, a course he was completely unfamiliar with.

Moore finds his strength in the fact that he’s a strong ball striker and iron player, meaning he can drive the ball accurately and hits a lot of greens in regulation.

“I really enjoy seeing people improve and I want to have a positive impact on pretty much anybody who comes through my life.”

Aside from natural talent, Moore has a strong work ethic that fuels his success. He’s at the course practicing every day of the week, usually for 2–4 hours at a time.

“Our course that we have here at the university is one of my favorites,” Moore said of the NMSU golf course. “I think it’s an exceptional use of land. It’s a great asset for the PGM and golf team. Our practice facility is fantastic, and our superintendent has been able to do an amazing job with his limited funding.”

Moore has one strong superstition that he carries onto the course with him. During tournaments, Moore avidly avoids balls with the number three on them, believing they’re bad luck. During a 2015 tournament at New Mexico State, Moore had the lead at the turn. At hole ten, Moore damaged the golf ball he was playing with and replaced it with a ball marked number three. From there, the tournament went downhill quickly for him. He finished the tournament tied for 7th place.

Moore also only uses Titleist golf balls during competition, finding that they’re the most consistent from shot to shot.

In the summer of 2018, Moore will be attempting to qualify for the United States Open Championship and the United States Amateur Championship.

“There needs to be a game plan,” Moore said, referring to his plans to prepare for these championships. “There will obviously be mental preparation as well as physical preparation. And a lot more time spent at a golf course practicing.”

As far as physical preparation, Moore does everything he can to keep his body in the best shape for top performance. He does yoga five days a week to help keep his core strong and improve his hip flexibility. He prepares the majority of his meals at home, and monitors his fat intake and sugar intake closely as well as how many calories he consumes each day.

“It’s ninety-ten,” Moore said of his diet, “I eat nine healthy meals, and then for the tenth I allow myself to cheat a little bit.”

Moore is set to set to finish up at New Mexico State in spring of 2019, and will officially earn his degree in professional golf management in the fall of 2019 after completing an extended seven-month internship. Moore is looking into courses in Austin and Dallas, Texas, as well as Phoenix, Arizona, to complete his internship.

Moore’s ultimate goal is to eventually be a teaching professional in the field of golf.

“I really enjoy seeing people improve and I want to have a positive impact on pretty much anybody who comes through my life,” Moore said. “I feel like the best way to make my dream a reality is through teaching.”

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