From bullied to birdies: Haley Moore’s LPGA story resonates


BELLEAIR, Fla. (AP) — Haley Moore will always remember the shot. It was in April 2019 when stood on the sixteenth tee at Augusta Nationwide, residence of the Masters, 156 yards from the flag with a brief iron in her fingers and watched the ball take flight.

It landed just a few yards to the left of the outlet on the sharply sloped inexperienced and gravity did the remainder, the ball ultimately rolling to a cease shut sufficient for a tap-in birdie. Moore smiled on her total stroll to the inexperienced, the followers who lined all sides of the outlet roaring in delight and appreciation.

No bullies had been in sight.

“It was fairly iconic,” Moore stated.

So is her story.

Moore is a 22-year-old LPGA rookie from Southern California. She made the successful putt in a playoff to clinch the 2018 NCAA championship for Arizona and certified for the inaugural Augusta Nationwide Ladies’s Novice final 12 months. She additionally has struggled with weight points and shallowness for a lot of her life. Bullies would name her fats, take her belongings, harm her private property.

Moore doesn’t conceal from these moments or the ache they triggered — or nonetheless trigger. As a substitute, she talks about her story overtly, sharing what she went by and the way it didn’t cease her from reaching the aim of enjoying on the LPGA Tour.

Her motive is straightforward: she thinks she might help others.

“At the moment, persons are nonetheless scuffling with being bullied by folks,” Moore stated. “And a few of the folks being bullied, they actually haven’t been capable of flip their life round. I believe simply telling my story, what I did and the way I overcame it, I believe I can attempt to flip that life round. Bullying is one thing that ought to by no means be allowed — and I wish to put a cease to it.”

She is aware of that’s in all probability a futile quest. There’s at all times going to be somebody with a snide comment as she walks previous, somebody with an insult on social media. However she additionally is aware of that she’s serving to folks simply by being robust sufficient to inform her story.

Golf grew to become her refuge after tagging together with some relations to a driving vary sooner or later. Earlier than lengthy, she was hooked, successful youth tournaments and escaping antagonists in school by training lengthy hours.

John Daly, the two-time main winner, has tweeted at Moore and given her phrases of encouragement. And LPGA veteran Brittany Lincicome stated she’s rooting for Moore as effectively.

“I’m so grateful that she instructed her story,” Lincicome stated final week as she watched Moore end a apply spherical. “Lots of people undergo issues they usually sort of maintain it in generally, however I’m so grateful that she instructed her story. She acquired it on the market. It’s undoubtedly going to assist a baby overcome one thing and even adults can undergo issues like children can. Her story is certainly going to assist lots of people.”

Moore isn’t the place she desires to be but in golf; her rookie 12 months has been full of ups and downs.

She’s performed in 11 LPGA occasions thus far this season, breaking par in simply six of 30 rounds and incomes $20,686 — good for 124th on the season cash record and never precisely the kind of checks that execs are hoping to money.

Enter Brian Speciale into her story.

Speciale and his brother Michael got here up with an thought just a few years in the past for an outsized sweatshirt made out of the identical materials used to make blankets. With that, their firm — The Cozy — was invented. They acquired a break when their thought acquired backing on “Shark Tank,” the present that may vault entrepreneurs into the large time. And across the center of final 12 months, after Moore went public together with her bullying story, Speciale simply occurred to search out it on-line.

“I didn’t know something about Haley, however simply studying her story, seeing the battle that she’s gone by for therefore lengthy, after which seeing her on the market you recognize principally placing that stuff behind her or off to the aspect and making an attempt to succeed at skilled golf, I used to be like ‘Wow, that’s fairly superb,’” Speciale stated. “So, my brother and I, we simply determined that if the chance ever introduced itself the place we might help somebody like Haley to dwell her dream, we had been going to do it.”

As soon as the corporate began to develop, The Cozy made Moore a suggestion for each monetary backing and garments to put on on the course. She doesn’t want to fret about the right way to pay for flights and inns for now; all she wants to fret about is her recreation.

The LPGA helps Moore get her story on the market, and it’s resonating.

Moore and her mom, Michele, had been at a golf course just a few months again on a Saturday morning for breakfast and occurred to be standing not removed from the place children had been warming up for a junior event. A mom and daughter approached.

“They’d acknowledged Haley and simply began speaking,” Michele Moore stated. “Beloved her story. They didn’t ask us an entire lot about bullying. They acknowledged her and beloved her story. They felt she was inspiring.”

And to Moore, these are the moments that really feel pretty much as good as these roars at Augusta did. She’s engaged on her recreation. She’s engaged on her health. She tries desperately to keep away from sweets. It’s all a piece in progress, however in contrast to these days again in class the place her backpacks would get stolen and full of water, she is aware of persons are rooting for her.

“I believe it’s actually shifted quite a bit,” Moore stated. “Particularly by social media, I’ve had messages from folks reaching out saying how they’re impressed by my story. I wish to share my story as a result of I’ve come so removed from it and I really feel like if I share what I did and the way I overcame it, I believe it may well actually inspire anyone.”

assume it may well actually inspire anyone.”

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