(Reuters) – As Justin Rose was basking in the glory of becoming the first Olympic champion in 112 years, Ryan Moore collected $864,000 more than the Briton for winning the John Deere Classic on the PGA Tour on Sunday.
Moore claimed his fifth tour title by two strokes over fellow American Ben Martin in a low-key affair in Silvis, Illinois, where he received polite applause from the gallery after tapping in from two feet at the last.
About three hours earlier, Rose had displayed unrestrained ecstasy after sinking his winning putt for golf’s first Olympic gold since 1904 after a final-round battle with British Open champion Henrik Stenson of Sweden.
While the spotlight shone on Rio, Moore triumphed over an underwhelming field in Illinois.
Jordan Spieth, last year’s John Deere Classic champion, did not defend his title, deeming it inappropriate after he pulled out of the Olympics due to ‘health issues’.
Fellow American Dustin Johnson, who also made himself unavailable for Rio, also skipped the John Deere, which is usually played in July but was moved this year to play opposite the Olympics.
Moore added to his PGA Tour resume in business-like fashion with a bogey-free four-under-par 67 at the TPC Deere Run that gave him a 22-under-par 262 total.
The former U.S. amateur champion started the day with a one-shot edge, which he extended to five before Martin created a bit of excitement with three consecutive birdies from the 12th to close the margin to a couple of strokes.
However, that was where the gap remained, as both players parred the final four holes.
“On this course you can rattle off a few birdies in a row real fast,” Moore, who played the final 46 holes without a bogey, said in a television interview.
“I was trying to make birdies coming down the stretch. I was trying to stretch that margin out a little bit but I couldn’t get any putts to go and in the end snuck it out.”
(Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Larry Fine)