Taylor Moore in action for the 2021 TPC Colorado Championship, PGA Tour card

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Taylor Moore in action for the 2021 TPC Colorado Championship, PGA Tour card

It could be a well-known script set at the TPC Colorado Championship in Heron Lakes this weekend.

We’ve seen this before, whether it’s Will Zalatoris or Nelson Ledesma, who use a TPC Colorado win to become a regular on the PGA Tour.

Setting a course record was a great start, but that was Thursday. Taylor Moore plans to join this company on Sunday.

Moore continued his record of 9 under 63 on Thursday with a solid 2 under 70 in the second round on Friday, entering the final 36 holes two strokes behind the pace.

It sets up something far more important than a course record: a prime chance at the championship and in every way its PGA Tour card for the 2021-22 season.

Moore will be among the final groups this weekend, and much is at stake for the relative Korn Ferry Tour veteran.

In some ways, the University of Arkansas product would be a winner out of nowhere as it is winless in 93 Korn Ferry Tour starts in 2017.

But Moore’s story doesn’t begin until the past off-season. After an injury in 2019 as well as the COVID-19 pandemic and some accompanying bad games in 2020, Moore said he was in “a difficult position”.

He wasn’t just looking at a swing fix or fixating on his physical form. Instead, he turned inward and hired a mental health coach between the end of the 2020 season and the 2020-21 campaign.

The results are clear: Moore is one of the most consistent players on the Korn Ferry Tour in 2021.

At the start of the season he had four top five finishes in his career on the tour. Moore has already achieved this this season, adding three more top 10 finishes to reach 21st place in the current Korn Ferry Tour standings.

“Of course it’s been a great year,” said Moore. “I hired a mental performance coach and that was great for me on and off the golf course. So I would say most of (the improvement) was mental, but you still have to get it right.”

And he’s in Berthoud this week, the 63rd was his career best at this level. This included a brilliant 29 on the top nine at TPC Colorado, which drove up the leaderboard with five birdies and an eagle holding the 18-hole lead.

He started slowly on Friday afternoon but kept pace with a late birdie after getting close to # 16. He followed with some steel par-saves on nos. 17 and 18.

“It gets a little trickier in the afternoon when the wind picks up,” said Moore. “To be honest, I was very happy with the way I played and I’m obviously in a really good position to be there (Sunday).”

Professional golfer Taylor Moore tees off during the TPC Colorado Championship at Heron Lakes in Berthoud, Colorado on Friday, July 9, 2021.

Those breezy, baked afternoon conditions will be ubiquitous as the final groups tee off around 2pm local time on Saturday and Sunday. While players and fans could get a break from the worst of the heat, a pair of 95-plus-degree days should give way to highs in the upper 80s this weekend.

And what a weekend it will be for Moore, a microcosm of the hopes and dreams of most of the players on the Korn Ferry Tour.

He currently ranks 21st in the ranking for the 2021 season, and the top 25 at the end of the season automatically receive the coveted PGA Tour card.

What would a win this week mean for Moore? It would jump him over 1,700 points in the points race, push him beyond the current “fail-safe number” of the tour and almost secure him a top 25 result for the season.

“We are all aware of it when we serve every week,” said Moore of his place in the overall standings. “I try to accept it, there is no need to look the other way. I just try not to anticipate what I’ve done in the past and learned a lot.”

And zoom out even further here. Moore was number 689 in the world at the end of 2020. Now he’s already in 234th place. A win would put him in the top 200 solidly.

Do you remember Zalatoris and Ledesma, the first two winners of this event? Zalatoris’ win last year took him from 272 to 172. Ledesma’s win took him from outside the top 350 to 221 and brought him to regular PGA Tour appearances.

Zalatoris is currently number 30 in the world and has been here consistently on the big stage since his triumph in July 2020 and ended up in the top 10 in three major championships. Oh yes, that included a second place in April at The Masters.

So the springboard is locked and loaded so that a player like Moore can take off.

“After my start I would of course like to hold this trophy,” said Moore. “But that comes from taking care of myself and what I can control.

“If I take care of it, I like my chances on Sunday.”

Chris Abshire is the sports and statistics content coach at Coloradoan. Contact him at ChrisAbshire@coloradoan.com. Support his work and that of other Colorado journalists by purchasing a digital subscription today.

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