Haley Moore only amateur to make cut at ANA Inspiration

April 03, 2015

The streak continues!

No, not the streak the whole golf world is talking about. That one came to an end Friday when 17-year-old Lydia Ko shot 1-over-par at the ANA Inspiration, ending a run of 29 consecutive LPGA Tour rounds under par. Her 29 in a row was record tying, with none other than Annika Sorenstam.

It was 16-year-old SCGA member Haley Moore who continued a streak Friday, becoming the third straight ANA Inspiration Champions Junior Challenge winner to make the cut at the LPGA major. Haley is the only one of six amateurs in the field to continue on to weekend action.

"It feels so great," said Haley, who was moved to tears by the moment. "I just never would have thought this would happen to me in a major. Even to qualify, let alone make the cut. I'm very, very happy right now."

Playing as the youngest competitor in the field, the Escondido native played nearly perfect golf on the front nine of Mission Hills CC's Dinah Shore Course Friday, making the turn at 1-under-par with eight pars and one birdie. The hot start carried into the back nine, where she parred her first three holes before collecting her second birdie of the day on the par 4 13th. The birdie put her at 1-under-par overall, good enough at the time for T22, and things seemed to be cruising.

"I felt really good," said Haley. "I was playing well with my putter especially and hitting the ball well."

But then things got a little tougher, and Haley played the final five holes in four-over-par.

"For me, holes 14-18 I have to try and be even par," said Haley. "Even yesterday that was my struggle, those finishing holes. I'm kind of hooking the ball, especially with my mid-irons, so I need to get out to the range and figure that out."

Haley's goal entering the tournament was to make the cut, and as she took the historic walk across the bridge and over Poppie's Pond on par 5 No. 18, she needed just a bogey to secure her spot in Saturday's action. But she had some work to do, as her third shot sailed over the green and put her in the rough and behind two palm trees.

Taking the advice of her caddie, a former club champion at Mission Hills, Haley chipped the ball between the two trees, the ball finally settling about 20 feet past the hole. She would two-putt for the bogey to make the cut, and a sizable gallery cheered her name and applauded.

"The crowd out here, they just told me to keep fighting when things got rough, and it meant so much," said Haley.

The gallery following Haley was a mixture of family, friends and Mission Hills CC members, who got to know Haley in June when she won an AJGA event on this very same course. The members remembered her, and became her biggest fan club this week.

But the hard part is over, and now Haley can get back to enjoying her time in her first LPGA major.

"It does feel like some pressure is off, having made the cut, and I'm just going to enjoy it and be glad that I am here," she said.

Haley qualified for the event on Monday by way of a win at the Junior Challenge. She follows in the footsteps of Lilia Vu of Fountain Valley and Angel Yin of Arcadia, who both made the cut after their Junior Challenge wins as well.

Haley will tee off Saturday morning in Round 3 at 8:15 a.m.

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