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Different kind of golf lesson

It’s not often one gets to watch themselves at their worst on national television. Monrovia golfer Blake Moore did. He calls it a learning experience.

“Those were some of my worst moments and I can only point a finger at myself and take the blame,” Moore said on Nov. 25.

Larry Stewart

The night before, on the seventh taped edition of the Golf Channel’s “Big Break Disney Golf,” Moore became the seventh player eliminated from the 10-week competitive reality show.

Talent-wise, Moore was one of the best golfers of the 12 picked to compete on the show. Five years ago he set the official course record of 62 at Santa Anita Golf Course.

But his chances to win the competition and earn exemption into a PGA Tour event came to an end when he, unbelievably, missed a 2½-foot putt during elimination play.

Moore was then shown taking a hard swing with his putter at the ball, making a divot in the green. Such inappropriate displays of temper were commonplace for Moore during this edition of the Golf Channel’s popular “Big Break” series.

Meanwhile, Arcadia’s Kevin Erdman, considered a long shot, remains alive, along with four other competitors.

On the Nov. 24 show, Erdman became immune from the elimination round by beating another competitor in a three-tier competition that involved hitting a drive that needed to carry 240 yards to be in play, hitting a 175-yard approach shot on a green and then making an eight-foot putt.

Moore and the other two losers of that challenge, Mike Perez and Tony Finau, were forced into the elimination round, which involved head-to-head stroke play.

Moore did fairly well, but then came that fateful putt, followed by a fit of temper.

Moore’s temper tantrums were on display throughout, and the reaction wasn’t pretty. Here is just a sampling of the strong comments about Moore on my previous blogs about him, and on YouTube where the video shot by Scott Hettrick is also available:

— “This guy is the biggest poor sport in the world. A guy trying to become a professional golfer takes a big chunk out of the green when he gets beat. What a loser.” –“This guy Moore is a hot-headed tool. Gives golf a bad name with his outbursts on Big Break.” –“Blake Moore is a crybaby (expletive).” — “I am totally shocked that Blake shot a 62 on any course. He certainly did not show that kind of ability during his stay on the show/ What he did show is that he is a real jerk, unable (or unwilling) to control his own emotions. Perhaps seeing himself on television will cause him to do some serious self-evaluation.”

After talking with Blake on the phone, I think that is exactly what he has done.

“It was embarrassing to watch, but I think this was the best thing that ever happened to me,” he said. “I realize now I have to change my attitude if I’m going to succeed at golf.

“I’ve seen the comments viewers made. A friend e-mailed them to me. Some were pretty harsh and some undeserved. But I guess that’s how some people feel.

“What people say adds fuel, or juice, to make me prove they are wrong and, more importantly, to prove to myself that they are wrong.”

On the previous week’s show, Moore was in a bad mood almost throughout. The first challenge involved hitting a golf ball down the paved track at the Walt Disney World Speedway, and Erdman won that competition. When Moore’s third attempt at the speedway went wide, Kevin could be heard saying, “Wow.” Obviously what Erdman meant by that was that he couldn’t believe that Moore, the more talented golfer, couldn’t keep it in play.

Moore went ballistic. “Don’t say wow,” he scolded. He then mumbled, “Hearing someone say wow is the most annoying sound.”

At one point, Moore was heard saying of Erdman on that show: “How does he get through?” Blake was heard saying essentially the same thing on the previous week.

On the phone after the show in which Moore was eliminated, he said he hasn’t talked with Erdman since the series was shot over a two-week period in July in the Orlando, Fla., area. But he also said, “I’m happy for him.”

Moore, 25, and Erdman, 30, are both graduates of La Salle High in Pasadena. It’s just an amazing coincidence both were picked to be on this series from among applicants from throughout the country.

Moore, who now devotes all his time to making it as a professional golfer, said he is currently taking three weeks off due to a small cyst in his back. But then he’ll get back at it – and with some lessons learned from watching himself on television.

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