CHARLESTON, S.C. – An improved putting stroke and an added sense of confidence helped Connor Moore turn in an impressive summer. Experiencing the highs and lows that accompanied enrolling in college a semester early last spring was also invaluable for the Charleston Southern sophomore.
"It was a bit up and down but I really enjoyed it," said Moore, who earned All-Big South Freshman Team honors after graduating from Bluffton High School last winter. "Getting that step ahead and being able to get a jump on college tournaments and college classes, it's something I wish everyone could get to experience."
Moore experienced quite a bit of success this summer, collecting two top-five finishes and three top-ten's. He placed second in the Hilton Head Amateur and the Hilton Head Open, achieving low amateur status in the latter event. Moore was also the third-lowest amateur at the South Carolina Open, recording a 12th-place overall finish in his hometown.
"As a golfer, I'm not really sure I'd be in the position to succeed without that (last year's experience)," Moore said. "I think my game needed to go through that little bit of a learning curve that the spring provided. Going through some adverse conditions and being in a new situation gave me more patience as a player, and the ability to handle bad holes or bad rounds."
Moore fired a career-best six-under par 66 at the Hilton Head Open, and posted several other rounds in red numbers throughout the summer. A concerted effort to hone his putting was the biggest reason why.
"It was something that needed to be addressed and it took a bit of time," Moore said. "I put a new one in the bag and really just spent a lot of time harping on technique and refining my setup to make sure I understood how I was lining up. It's made me a more efficient player because if I'm not hitting the ball great, I feel like I can rely on my putter to pull me through and help me be more consistent."
Along with junior Elliot Gothe, Moore is one of the Bucs' key returners on a 2018-19 squad that features six newcomers. The Bluffton product is optimistic CSU will take steps forward as a program in year two under head coach Jason Payne.
"Coach Payne is a solid leader and from meeting the new guys, they really want to be here and work hard," Moore said. "That's step one of a team that can be great and I think we can set some lofty goals this year and work hard to achieve them."
Payne is looking forward to seeing Moore's game continue to grow.
"With Connor coming in early last year and getting a year of experience under his belt, he should be a top performer for us this year," Payne said. "There is no doubt that he is going to have a great career as a Buccaneer.
Moore and the Bucs tee off their fall campaign September 9-11 at The Ocean Course in the Kiawah Invitational.