Kim Moore, the women’s golf coach at Western Michigan University, said it was pretty cool to be a part of a little bit of history in golf.
Moore, 41 and a GAM member through The Moors Golf Club in Portage as well as a PGA teaching professional, went wire-to-wire to win the women’s overall champion title earlier this week in the inaugural U.S. Adaptive Open at Pinehurst Resort’s Course No. 6 in North Carolina.
“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,” Moore told the USGA after winning. “It’s just been very humbling and exciting for me this whole week, and it’s just been nothing but amazing.”
Moore, who was born without a right foot and a clubbed left foot, opened with an 8-over 80 in the first round but rallied with a closing 76 for 156 to finish eight strokes ahead of runner-up Ryanne Jackson of St. Petersburg, Fla.
Moore, who became WMU’s coach in 2020 and played college golf at the University of Indianapolis, has made news before. In 2015 the national 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.
“I think we’re going to have a lot of rise in participation in adaptive golf,” Moore told the USGA. “I hope that’s what this brings. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens.”
Kim Moore and the men’s overall winner Simon Lee of the Republic of Korea 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.
The field included 96 players, including three other Michigan residents and GAM member golfers.
Hudsonville 15-year-old Sophia Howard, who was born without a right hand, finished 13th. She’s a GAM member at The Meadows at Grand Valley State University.
Brian Bemis of Lansing, who had his right leg amputated at age 12 because of cancer, finished 29th in the men’s division. The 48-year-old golfer is a GAM member at Country Club of Lansing.
And Tracy Ramin of Montrose, a left leg below-the-knee amputee as the result of a car accident, finished 51st among the men. He is 50 and a GAM member at Briar Ridge Golf Club, and also a leader in adaptive golf as the executive director of The National Amputee Golf Association.
Photo Provided Courtesy of the USGA