Kim Moore, the women’s golf coach at Western Michigan University, led from start to finish to claim the title. (Jeff Haynes/USGA)
Three days of joyful, inspired play in the Inaugural U.S. Adaptive Open at Pinehurst Resort’s Course No. 6 ended in a dramatic triumph befitting a USGA national championship. Simon Lee, 25, of the Republic of Korea, shot a final-round 71, then went birdie-par in a two-hole playoff to win the men’s overall title over Felix Norrman, while Kim Moore, 41, of Portage, Mich., went wire-to-wire to earn the title of women’s overall champion.
“It’s pretty cool to be part of a little bit of history in golf,” said Moore, the women’s golf coach at Western Michigan University. “I’m thankful for my friends and family and their support and all the people back home that are wishing me good luck and have been watching. It’s just been very humbling and exciting for me this whole week, and it’s just been nothing but amazing.”
“That sounds great, yeah,” said Lee afterward. “I’m so happy. It feels like I’m dreaming.”
Moore, who was born without a right foot and a severely clubbed left foot, said after yesterday’s round of 8-over-par 80 that she wanted to come back and play better today. She did just that, carding a final-round 76 to pull away and finish eight strokes ahead of her closest pursuer, Ryanne Jackson, of St. Petersburg, Fla., with a 16-over-par 232 total.
In 2015, the Women’s Golf Coaches Association created the Kim Moore Spirit Award to recognize a student-athlete or coach who exemplifies a great spirit, mental toughness and a positive attitude toward the game, as well as being a role model to others. Throughout this week, Moore displayed those qualities in abundance as she displayed her on-course talents for the world to see.
“I think we’re going to have a lot of rise in participation in adaptive golf,” said Moore. “I hope that’s what this brings. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens.”
The U.S. Adaptive Open will return to Pinehurst Resort’s Course No. 6 in 2023, from July 17-19.
What the Champions Receive
Both Kim Moore and Simon Lee were awarded gold medals and receive custody of their respective U.S. Adaptive Open trophies for one year. They also each earn five-year exemptions into the championship.