Men's Golf Q&A: Alex Moon
April 12, 2012
As the top-ranked Men’s Golf team took ownership of the Longhorns’ Morris Williams Intercollegiate last month, senior Alex Moon emerged among the home confines of the University of Texas Golf Club with a fourth-place finish.
Moon’s top-five finish, however, vaulted him into UT’s rotation for the Augusta State Invitational, where the Longhorns claimed their sixth victory of the season in a two-hole playoff.
After an even-par finish in the 54-hole tournament to end in a tie for 30th, Moon spent some time catching up with TexasSports.com.
What was it like playing in Augusta just a week before the Master’s? It was great. It was great to be there. It was interesting to see what the town of Augusta was like and to notice what’s actually outside of the Master’s. Forrest Hills is a great course. A lot of the topography of that course resembled Augusta National. It was fun to be there and to get the feel of Augusta.
Was there any kind of majestic vibe present with the greatest golfers in the world playing soon after you? I would say if I felt any of that it would be while we were at the Master’s. I think our tournament just so happened to be a week prior to the Master’s – I didn’t really feel anything or any correlation between our tournament and the Master’s. It was definitely exciting when we got to see Monday's practice round and see how awesome (Augusta National) was.
Was there anything special about Augusta National that you noticed in person that fans couldn’t perceive through the television? Oh yeah! I’ve always heard that there isn’t a blade of grass out of place, and I was expecting that. What I wasn’t expecting was just how hilly that golf course is and how much undulation there is. The golf course looks small on TV compared to when you step on the grounds. It seems like the course goes on forever, like it is its own mountain range. The first thing that caught my attention was the hill and the drop off on Hole 10. Everyone talks about how downhill that fairway is. What they don’t realize is that they show the cameras behind the tee box to the fairway, so it doesn’t show that between the tee shot and where the balls land, there is a drop off that goes down about 80 feet. I mean it was huge. That was the first thing I noticed about the golf course, and that was the first thing that wowed me. It was pretty cool.
You guys are ranked No. 1 nationally. How much hard work have you and the team had to put in to get to that 1 spot? I wouldn’t say we’ve done anything different than in the past three years that I’ve been here. I would say that cognitively knowing how good we are and how much talent we have, it’s almost like, “Why wouldn’t we practice and do the best we can and work as hard as we can?” For as much talent as we have on this team, it would be stupid not to work our hardest. It’s different for a team that may know they don’t have enough talent to go the distance, but if you do and you don’t utilize that it’s really dumb. We’ve been working really hard with that in mind.
Does that ranking put any extra pressure on you guys? I don’t think so. I think we know we are as good as anybody out there. I don’t think the ranking means a whole lot. We know who we are, and we know how good we are. We just have to keep doing what we’ve been doing.
Teammates Jordan Spieth and Dylan Frittelli are the top two players in the nation. What is it like practicing and competing with them everyday, as well as the rest of the Texas team? Well, I’ve been playing with Dylan for three years now, and I’ve known Jordan for as long as I can remember. I know how good these guys are, they’re awesome, but for us, playing and competing weekly and daily, it’s just like we’re out there with some friends. We’re all friends and I don’t think there’s a whole lot going on between us about who is ranked and who’s what. We’re a team and we’re just out there to play. As individual as golf is, we are still all teammates.
What do you think has contributed most to the team’s success? I would say probably just the camaraderie within the team. Everyone on the team has such a good relationship with each other. There are a lot of distractions that can happen on a team that can set back progress, but we have the perfect atmosphere – between the club, the facilities, and everyone. The fact that everyone gets along and has a good time allows us to be the best we can be.
With only two tournaments left before the Big 12 Tournament, is there any extra motivation to finish strong in the final stretch? I think when we leave for Santa Cruz and later head to the Aggie Invitational, we won’t need to change anything, but we’ll need to keep doing what we’re doing. We need to know that we are Texas. We need to keep who we are in mind, as well as what we know how to do – and that is win. We just have go out there with confidence and make it happen.