Q School DQ

A Q School DQ for the Ages

An aspiring Korn Ferry pro with an unbelievable past was bounced after a couple of curious shots

By Ryan French

Would you believe a story from Korn Ferry Tour Q-school in which a pro with a purported 36 aces (eight of them on par-4s) supposedly holed-out on an approach shot from the rough that no one saw, lost a ball that was found hours later, got into a heated, hour-long meeting with rules official involving written testimony, rudimentary hole diagrams and a flock of turkeys, ultimately leading to the wildest disqualification in Q-school history?

Well, have I got a story for you. 

The pre-qualifying stage of Q-school can be miserable. It is designed to separate the dreamers from the real players. Those who haven’t made a cut in a PGA Tour-sanctioned event have to go to pre-q. The cost is $3,500 for three rounds, and the events are held on courses that rarely appear on top-100 lists. Last week the first three of the six pre-q sites were held. One of the sites was Quarry Oaks, a 7,200-yard par-71 course in Ashland, Neb. 

It was here that Matt Moroz, Andrew Ni and Grant Haefner teed off in the final round on Friday. All three were hovering around the cut line. Unbeknownst to Ni and Haefner, Nebraska PGA officials planned to keep a close eye on the group. (PGA of America sections run Q-school sites.) Allegations of suspicious behavior had been made against Moroz from the previous day. His playing partners in the second round had told officials that Moroz was often walking well ahead of the group. They said there were incidents on two holes where the players believed Moroz was in penalty areas, only to find his ball in good shape. For four holes during the final round, nothing unusual happened. Things changed on the 5th hole, a 375-yard par-4. 

Moroz hit his tee shot down the left side, leaving an approach from the rough that required him to negotiate a tree. Haefner and Ni hit their drives in the fairway down the right side, about 10 yards longer than Moroz’s. Interviewed separately, Haefner and Ni said Moroz hit a low runner that they described as thin and bladed. Moroz called the shot a “Jay Bilas,” saying he turned to Andy Smith, his caddie, and said, “I skullfucked it.” Everyone expected the ball to stop short and left of the green. Haefner and Ni estimated it landed nearly 60 yards short. Smith said he believed the ball was five yards left, but he also thought the ball was skipping through the rough. “Because the rough was a little wet in spots, there was a potential of skippage,” Smith said later. “That’s the best I can explain it.” 

Q School DQ
Perhaps the most accurate closing sentence in the history of hole descriptions.

There is a large mound in front of the 5th green so the players couldn’t see where the ball had settled. (The description of the hole on the Quarry Oaks website says, “It’s lots of fun getting to the green and seeing where your ball is.”) Moroz and Smith walked quickly down the fairway and reached the green before the other two players had hit their approach shots. As Haefner and Ni crested the hill, they were dismayed to see Moroz walking toward them, pumping his fists and yelling, “It’s in the hole!” Moroz approached Haefner and extended his closed hand for a fist pound; Haefner half-heartedly obliged, too stunned to ignore the gesture. Neither Haefner nor Ni saw Moroz retrieve his ball out of the hole. Both were playing in their first Q-school and weren’t sure what to say. Haefner reasoned with himself, “We have all seen crazy bounces in golf.” Haefner and Ni both recall Moroz saying something like: “Maybe it bounced off the turkeys.” It was a reference to a flock of turkeys that were loitering in the rough. Moroz denied saying that, adding, “Maybe my caddie, Andy, did it as a joke.” 

Smith said he caddied for Moroz at the 2017 Long Beach Open and at a few local U.S. Open qualifiers and that the two met while working at a golf course. While discussing his version of events on the 5th hole, Smith said, “I have a video of the ball in the hole.” This news came as a shock. Why would someone document such a thing during the final round of Q school? And why hadn’t the video been mentioned earlier? The video (below) only showed Smith and Moroz and was never shared with rules officials. In my interview with him (a full version can be heard in the accompanying podcast), Smith said Moroz asked him to video the scene, telling him to “get my phone.” He added that Moroz went up to the hole, saw the ball in the cup and asked Smith to take the video. “I wouldn’t normally video a shot,” Smith said, “but we were excited. It got us from 4 to 6 under.” According to the other three people in the group, this all must have happened prior to their cresting the hill as they didn’t see Moroz pull the ball out of the hole. 

Although they were stunned at what had happened, Haefner and Ni didn’t confront Moroz. They were grinding on their own dream. But the two didn’t have to wait long before things got strange again. 

The 7th hole is a challenging uphill 458-yard par-4 with trouble down both sides. Because of the difficulty of the hole, the section assigned a spotter to help players look for errant drives and to assist with the already tortoise-like pace of play at Q-school. The spotter was about 300 yards down the fairway on the right-hand side. After Haefner hit the fairway, Ni found the left penalty area. Moroz, who is left-handed, then pulled his drive into the right penalty area, roughly 30 yards from where the spotter, who doubles as a rules official, was standing. The spotter stuck a red flag in the ground where Moroz’s ball had entered the hazard and headed across the fairway to look for Ni’s ball. Haefner, Ni, his caddie, the spotter and a rules official who had rolled up to the group began searching for Ni’s ball, which they found. 

Moroz and Smith didn’t join the group for the search, walking over only after Ni had chipped out. Haefner hit his approach, and when the group arrived at the green, Moroz’s ball was on the fringe, just 15 feet from the hole. Haefner, having grown increasingly skeptical, asked Moroz what he was putting for. “Birdie,” he replied. The penalty area where Moroz’s tee shot had entered was thick and for the most part unplayable; in fact, Moroz called it “jungle.” He explained that Smith had found his ball just outside the penalty area, nearly 30 yards ahead (and around a corner of the wooded area) of where the ball entered. Clayton Kucera, an experienced caddie who was carrying for Ni, had seen enough. As Haefner and Ni were putting out, Kucera approached the rules official and explained what had happened. As the group left the green, the rules official returned to where Moroz’s drive had entered the penalty area. 

The 8th hole would bring even more drama as Moroz fell to the ground in apparent back pain. This scene played out so often over the next 10 holes that Kucera would say on a tee after Moroz had fallen yet again, “get up and get out of the way.” As the group walked down the fairway, Smith told Kucera, “When a guy is hurt, don’t tell him to get out of the way.” To the caddie and other other players, it felt as if Moroz was faking the injury in an attempt to gain sympathy.

Aside from Moroz’s back issues, the final nine holes unfolded without incident. Ni and Haefner said they had a half-dozen or so discussions about what they had witnessed and what their plan would be after the round. Shuttles were running from the 17th green to the 18th tee, and in one of the carts was a rules official who drove Kucera to the tee. Kucera informed Ni and Haefner they should sign their cards and that the section would handle things from there. 

Just when you thought things couldn’t get crazier, they did. Haefner looked at his phone to discover that Moroz was at even par and directly on the cut line. On the par-5 18th, he hit two good shots to reach the front bunker but skulled his third over the green. Then he holed a 15-yard downhill chip shot for birdie. As a result, he moved the cut line, knocking out a couple of young pros trying to launch their careers.

After discussing what transpired at the 5th and 7th holes, the three players signed and turned in their scorecards. As they left the scoring area, Tom Hearn, a PGA Tour rules official, was waiting. He pulled all five members of the group (Haefner carried his own bag) into a room to discuss what had happened. Hearn asked Moroz to go through his recollection of the 7th hole. According to Ni, Moroz said he saw the flag and was walking toward it when Smith yelled that he had found the ball, well ahead of where it had entered. He said he hit a 9-iron into the green. Kucera spoke up, saying Moroz couldn’t have reached the green with a 9-iron, considering it was an uphill 450-yard hole that was playing into the wind. On Saturday, Moroz told me he had hit 8-iron. “Andy told me I hit 8,” he said. “I thought I hit 9, but Andy told me he gave me 8. I can usually tell by looking at the loft, but…” (His voice trailed off, and he didn’t finish the sentence.

After some discussion, Hearn, who has worked in rules on the Korn Ferry and PGA Tours and section events for more than 20 years, pulled a ball out of his pocket marked exactly like the one Moroz had played, with purple lines and the number 12 written on it. According to Haefner, Moroz denied it was his ball before acknowledging it was. Hearn explained the ball had been found on the 7th hole at precisely the spot where the official had placed the flag. Moroz quickly transitioned, saying although it was one of his balls, he had hit a ball there the previous day and two others during his practice round, reasoning it must have been a ball he never found from those rounds. 

Hearn then called the spotter into the room to give his version. The official said he saw the ball bounce three times before entering the penalty area, and after marking the entry point with a flag, he headed over to help Ni locate his ball. He said he returned after the group had finished the hole to find the ball with Moroz’s markings on it. Ni and Haefner estimated the conversation went on for roughly 25 minutes. Smith repeated many times he was happy to show the officials where he found the ball Moroz played. Off they went. 

The group piled into a couple of SUVs. Smith identified the spot where he said he had found Moroz’s ball. There was a divot, although it was around the corner of the wooded area from where the spotter had seen the ball enter the penalty area. Moroz never admitted any wrongdoing. After more than an hour of discussion, Hearn asked each of the players for a written statement. Ni and Haefner, who both had gotten through the qualifier, started their respective drives home. 

Q School DQ
This image of the 5th hole was sent by PGA Tour officials to Moroz’s playing partners detailing the scene of an alleged crime.

In a phone call about an hour later, Hearn informed both players that Moroz had been disqualified. (This moved the cut line and brought salvation to two players.) Hearn asked them for a diagram of the 5th hole, and to explain where Moroz’s ball had landed and ended up. Hearn then called Moroz and informed him he had been DQ’d. Asked what his response was, Moroz told me, “Why? I don’t understand how I can be DQ’d. I was pissed. I paid a lot of money to play in this tournament, and I didn’t like seeing my caddie upset because they accused him of dropping the ball.” 

So who is Matt Moroz? Google searches led to a lot of dead ends, but I did find a 2017 Golf Digest article headlined, “Aspiring tour pro pulls off one of the craziest hole-in-one feats we’ve ever heard about.” The story noted that in the course of eight days Moroz had made three aces, two on par-4s, bringing his career total to 17. On Saturday, I texted Moroz to ask how many holes-in-one he now has. “I have 32 officially,” he responded. “I don’t count four others since they were (during) lessons and I didn’t finish all 18 holes.” I then asked how many of the 36 were on par-4s: “Three in tournaments and five with members,” was the reply. That means he had made 19 aces in the last five years. As reference, there has been exactly one hole-in-one on a par-4 in the history of the PGA Tour: Andrew Magee’s ace at the 17th hole at TPC Scottsdale in 2001, when his ball caromed off the putter blade of Tom Byrum, who was lining up a birdie putt, and into the cup.

With each phone call, the story kept getting crazier. I talked with three people who had direct knowledge of a few aces Moroz had made. All three said they were made on blind shots, and none of the people I spoke with saw the ball go in the hole. 

Details about the rest of Moroz’s career are incomplete. He’s 35. He played some Minor League Tour events in 2013. He told me he lived in Florida for a bit and then Las Vegas, and worked as a club pro. He said sponsors helped fund his playing career, but he declined to disclose their names. 

On Friday I had walked off the plane upon returning home from a trip to San Diego. I was looking forward to a quiet night with my family when I got a DM. “You aren’t going to believe this,” it read. I get a lot of those DMs, and often the story turns out not to be a big deal. After spending two days learning about the enigmatic Moroz and his unusual antics, the author of that DM was right: I still can’t believe it.

[UPDATE] Somehow this story got even crazier



111 thoughts on “A Q School DQ for the Ages”

  1. Unbelievable story.
    Superb reporting once again from Ryan.

    **Currently listening to the podcast and can’t hear Ryan’s voice without thinking of a stolen Kia… 🤣

    1. Having now listened to Matt’s interview, this entire episode gets even more confusing.
      Matt and Andy obviously didn’t double check their stories and agree that they would both stick to the one version of events.
      No smoke without fire!

    2. I love how the caddy says, “You’re cheating yourself if you cheat in golf.” LOL!!!
      No, you’re cheating the other players.
      If you were cheating yourself, cheaters wouldn’t cheat.

    1. No, that’s definitely relative to a Hunter Biden false statement 4473 that should have landed him a $250,000 lien against his property and mandatory 10 year federal prison stint.

      1. Yes trumpy never played a legitimate game of golf in his life! Biggest cheater in history as told by a couple of pro’s who got stuck playing with the half wit. Of course, that is his MO for a life time! So, completely expected of a narcissistic, egomaniacal, impeached traitor and wannabe Hitler’s protege! Keep telling the same lies over and over and other half wits will soon succumb! Exactly why he states, “I love stupid people”!

        1. Sounds like you are a Biden liberal lover…. You know the President destroying our country and giving everything away to our enemies??? You remind me of a feminine cleaning product…

        2. Call him what you want but you can definitely call him the guy that has the people that have made a living off of the government’s piggy bank scared to death. Thank god that all these fake public servants true colors have been exposed by Trump Derangement Syndrome. 18 months since the Donald left office and its unimaginable how much the country has changed for the worse. All to make you think the dems will save you when in fact they are saving themselves.

        3. Getting in late here, but I hope this … we’ll call him “person” has either run out of gas with his obsession or has figured out by now that a site and a story like this are _not_ the place to barf that obsession all over people.

    2. Congrats! You’re so sad and lack a personality so severely you brought politics into a story without any politics! Your prize is your family members hate being around you and you make everyone uncomfortable! Way to go champ!

  2. This player needs to be banned from professional golf. I’m retired my son has played golf since he’s been three years old he played in that event in Nebraska in his attempt to get on the Korn ferry tour . he’s presently 26 years old we’ve basically spent most of our wealth to get him to this point. He definitely needs help from sponsors to continue and he is an outstanding player. Now you hear he is competing against players that are cheating at this level. I guess the Korn Ferry tour needs to have monitors following each group. Fortunately my son made the cut and is moving on to the next level of Qschool. If there is any availability for financial help or sponsorship we are definitely needing. Good luck to my son in the next tournament. Just please let it be fair..Just please let it be fair…..

    1. Would not worry about the level of honesty in golf at this level. Sure, there’s always one but as suspected the current format identified and DQ’ed the bad apple.

    2. The players did the right thing by watching the player. Protect the field and they all did the right thing. Your son need to reach out to every business and college alum he knows. Have a business plan in place and cut every expense down every week. If u can manage Latin America with host housing and traveling with buddies but I hope he gets thru this year to KFT

    3. Blind shots that find the bottom of the hole.. especially ones that are Skullfucked should be coined “A Moroz”

    4. from an experienced KF Tour caddie .. red flags go way up .. literally in the story 😉 .. on anyone who cheats even a little at 1st stage Q School and on .. the other players and caddies would not allow anything close to this behavior from going unreported .. Rules Tom is very well respected .. tell your son (and yourself) .. to focus all of his energy and attention on his own preparation and his own game .. do expect that he’ll benefit from playing with other honest and talented 1st stage players .. good players who respect each other and the game learn from each other 👊

    5. Thanks Thadd. You are correct. I wish your son the best of luck. Grant Haefner is my cousin. Grant and Ni wet almost cheated out of this tournament because of that fool Moroz. There are hundreds, if not thousands of young golfers trying to make it. Moroz is cheating all of them. The guy is a piece of shit.
      I hope to see your son’s name on the PGA Tour some day.

  3. The cheating escapades aside, this is a great article because to those of us who are unaware of the extreme rigors of the PGA Tour qualifying process, this article is a real eye opener about the stresses involved. This was extremely well written and very enlightening. Ryan, you are one more excellent writer in the Fire Pit stable.

    1. The stress and rigors are well known and have been known since the inception of q-school. The cheating, however was not known and completely unexpected

  4. What a joke. Just getting on a par 4 green with your tee shot is a feat much less having it go in the hole. Golfers never forget who has cheated. And you aren’t just cheating yourself but the guys who were on the bubble. You are a disgrace to the game of golf.
    Perhaps you would be more successful in politics.

  5. All 3 of those holes in the golf digest story are blind shots. The two par 4s play less than their number, but the one at Philmont is the least likely. It’s a tiny green, guarded by bunkers in front. Really hard to hit the green and hold it unless it’s super soft.

    1. Had a guy doing the same thing in local tournaments in Vero Beach, Fl., he’d be way ahead, find his ball, then he’d be only person on green and find his ball in the hole. Got caught, the group in front of him, was watching him arrive early on greens and saw him drop ball in the hole. He’d been declaring hole in ones and double eagles and miraculous recovery shots for years. How ungratifying, knowing you cheated

  6. There’s a story of a guy in Florida just like this. Jason something. And a European one Johan something that had to have like forensic investigation on an edited scorecard. Like who even tries?

  7. Our club had a very similar player. miraculous holeouts in competitions that nobody saw. He was 70 years old with a full fuid swing of a man of 30. He struck the ball like a 4 but often carried a much higher index. After warning 2 other members of his noteriety whe competing wth/against him in a sectional qualifying event, they fell victim to his antics…he holed out from a deep unplayable hazard. (the 2 warned players were also FBI agents) This somehow was a frequent occurance…the mysterious unwitnessed hole outs. He would palm a ball and appear to be retrieving it from the cup. After seeing (or not seeing) enough we requested he attend a board meeting where he was offered to not renew his membership or face expulsion.

  8. As a PGA Club Professional and Matt’s high school golf coach, I feel that I must speak on this. I have known Matt since he was twelve years old as he began playing golf at a city golf course in Philadelphia that I was the head professional and general manager. After Matt’s freshman year, I became the head coach at Philadelphia’s Roman Catholic High School. Matt had a tremendous career, becoming the school’s first four time All-Catholic League. NEVER, at any time, was integrity or honesty an issue during his years at Roman. He was also a tremendous ice hockey player. After graduating from Methodist University in their PGM Program, Matt worked as a teacher at a local private club and was loved by it’s members. He won at least one Philadelphia Section PGA event during this time as well. While I have not had much communication with Matt in recent years, I do believe that Matt is a good person trying to pursue his dream while avoiding father time. If the above story is true, then I am extremely dissapointed and shocked. The story does not reflect the Matt Moroz I know.

    1. Thank you for the message Dan. My job is not to decide what happened, my opinion is irrelevant. My job is to set out the facts and let people decide. Obv the facts don’t look very good for Matt, the tour doesn’t DQ people without some very serious thought and evidence. That doesn’t mean he wasn’t (or isn’t) a good person. He just (allegedly) made some mistakes

    2. 36 hole on ones, 4 on par 4s? Sorry Dan but the Matt you know has changed.
      The fact that he races ahead of the others is a sign that something is amiss & then miraculously finds it holed out is even more evidence. But the spotter finds his ball in exactly the place it went out & Matt tries to claim its from the practice round is the final straw.

      He’s a cheater & not really a very good one it looks like. He will have to bear the burdens of his actions going forward!

      1. Well he even said “hit my drive there yesterday” but then probably realized (that won’t fly on yesterday’s scorecard) then said “and practice rounds too” to cover up that lie.
        You know its the stories we tell ourselves that make up who we are. We all think about bad things but do we follow those thoughts to real life?
        Moroz must have had something happen and like everything he continues to tell himself “its all good” inside that head of his. Then the Golf Digest article and before no time he has 17 hole in ones.

    3. Agree with Dan. Haven’t played any tournament golf with Matt, but known him and played quite a few rounds with him for 6-7 years (none in the last few years). He is a really good person and if true, this comes as a big surprise to me.

    4. You were the pro at the course where Matt grew up playing and you also coached Matt’s high school golf team. How many aces do you recall Matt having during his high school golf career or any time as a young golfer at your course?

  9. Buddy was the head pro at a club here in Ontario and invited us to play in a closing Men’s Day Tournament. Was a high end club, big skins and expensive prizes were on the line. Everything was net that day.

    Shotgun start, we play with 2 other members. Finish our round and go sit down for dinner/prizes. We start hearing grumblings that someone shot a career round. My buddy gets pulled away from our table by his colleague to discuss the round as there is some questions. Buddy comes back and says, “get ready for the fireworks.”

    Turns out a notorious sandbagger at the course had fired a career round of 76 off of a 12 handicap. He also ended up winning 1 of only 2 skins that day for a nice $3500, with a net 2 on a par 5 after hitting into the woods and finding the ball a 100 yards further up the fairway from where it entered the trees.

    The entire room started booing and yelling, never seen a scene like that at a golf course. Thought we were gonna see a fist fight at one point. Guy promptly left the club next year.

        1. And yet people buy lottery tickets with odds of winning of 270 million ton 1 (and someone wins..). Low probability is not zero probability

        2. Doc, I was about an 18 handicap about 35 years ago, which would make me 36 at the time. I played in a men’s club tournament at heron lakes in the Portland, Oregon area. I was the C player in our foursome. I started the tournament 5 over after 4 holes and figures oh well another typical round for me. I finished with my still lowest round of my life with a 75! I don’t know the odds of that happening, but it did. When we came in to the club house everyone went crazy, but in a good way, because most players knew me and our A player went on to tell everyone how I did it. I think I had 2 hole outs for birdie out of two sand traps! It was a crazy day, but one I will always remember. I currently carry a 13.6 handicap and 3 weeks ago shot a 76 with friends. Granted it was an easier course, but I played lights out. 3 birdies on the first 9 for 1 under and then a 41 on the inward 9 for a 76. I missed an 18” putt for par on the last hole, which would’ve tied my low score. I was obviously very anxious to go play again, so I went out with friends and played a different course and shot a 92. So so far lightening has only struck twice!!

    1. I can’t believe it took until the next year. I figured you were going to say that he left the club the next day. Wow.

    1. It’s something but journalism ain’t it. Host was damn near in a rage at the end. I thought he was going to offer the guy a cigarette and McDonalds and say “Let’s start from the beginning again but this time tell me the truth.”

  10. Very interesting
    The few times I’ve holed without a playing partner see it I would never get the ball out of the hole without a playing partner watching
    Also the story about how the balls were marked is different Caddy says there was a purple line player says it was just numbers and the two balls were marked differently . If the ball he found was marked one way and the ball they found was marked differently his argument should be I didn’t mark my ball that way today. Not an argument about where the ball was. The caddy should have said yesterday the two balls were marked differently and he should have known right away if he was cleaning the ball after it hit every green.
    Why wouldn’t they start looking for the ball where the red flag was instead of going past it 20 yards

    1. not to mention did Matt walk up where Andy found that ball on 7? If Andy was walking ahead of Matt (which sounds like MOroz was walking ahead all days) then maybe Andy did happen to find an earlier Moron ball, dropped a ball or Matt dropped it and Andy just happened to find it?

  11. If Nebraska PGA officials decided to “keep a close eye on that group”, why were they not in a position to see exactly what happened on the 5th hole?

  12. The caddie’s story about #5 is so preposterous, and changes so much, thats its impossible to believe any of their other assertions. If you listen, the first time he tells the story the other players and caddie are only 15-20 yards behind them as they approach the green and it all happens fairly quickly. But then they continue, and he learns that nobody else has even mentioned this video. So he needs to add time and changes it the next time around to 50 yards or so behind them. And then he keeps going and all the sudden Moroz used the bathroom sometime during those 50 yards, and the caddie took the bag 20 yards up the hill to drop it at the cart path.

    Haefner estimated they were 50-60 yards behind, I believe, which makes sense. Moroz and his caddie aren’t going to be standing by the green when the other two golfers are playing their shots. So it makes sense they are ahead, but not miles ahead. But Moroz and caddie want us to believe that in the time the other players took to walk those 50 yards, Moroz and the caddie:

    Searched the left rough.
    Searched it long enough that Moroz stopped looking in the rough and checked the hole despite nobody thinking it could be there as though there search was otherwise exhausted.
    Moroz used the bathroom.
    Moroz told the caddie to get his phone to video it.
    The caddie carried the bag up to the cart path 20 yards away and dropped it since he knew no clubs were needed and then walked back to the green, a 40 yard round trip by his estimation.
    The caddie unlocked his phone and pulled up his video app.
    The caddie then filmed himself high fiving Moroz and then walking over to the hole.
    At some point after that video, Moroz got his ball out of the hole without any of his competitors seeing it despite the surprising nature of it all.

    That is just the logistical nightmare they’ve created with the timing and their story and doesn’t even address why they would film it or myriad other questions.

    And then you want people to believe the spotter on hole 7 found your exact ball from a prior round in the exact spot your tee ball just rolled into the hazard?

    I think it’d be interesting to see what the metadata on that video says about when it was taken. My guess is very little of what theyve said about those 2 instances is true.

      1. I had the same thought because the video seemed to start at stop so abruptly that it seemed like it was strategically edited, if you were really in that situation as his caddy you wouldn’t have stoped recording after 10 seconds in the middle of a sentence, you would have let the video roll and possibly pan around to give more context, if it was a genuine event

        If the accused players caddy texted the author / reporter the video, wouldn’t that mean he has the “original” video file with the metadata intact, and would be able to analyze it. Although I don’t know if doing so would prove if the video was edited or reveal anything noteworthy.

        But not showing the video to anyone would seem to indicate that they didn’t because they were afraid of what else it would reveal in its unedited form.

        1. I would go one step further. It’s not just that they did not show the video to anyone. Matt Moroz was questioned before his caddie by the journalist. He was asked about hole #5. He gave his version of hole #5. They talked about how he hit the shot and what he thought happened and how he and his caddie reacted. He never once mentioned the video. It would still be a little difficult to believe, but it would make way more sense if during that interview he ever said “yeah, I was shocked. I thought for sure the ball was going to be in the left rough. I was so surprised when I saw the ball in the hole that I asked the caddie to videotape it because it was one of those crazy things that you kind of had to see to believe.”

          Instead, he did not mention it at all. It’s hard to believe you’d be asked those questions by a journalist and not think to mention the video you have that supposedly confirms your version of events.

          1. Great point Kevin. The excuses don’t match up. You are right, we filmed it because it was a ridiculous luck and no way this should have made the green let alone hit the cup.
            Instead it was “because that took us from -4 to -6 in Q school”.. Umm, nope doesn’t fly fella

          2. Anytime people are playing for a living the integrity of the game must be preserved. Cheating happens more than the average hack realizes and the reality is at this level future PGA tour players are starting their journey. Moroz will never be able to shake this story no matter where he plays.

    1. Spot on Kevin! U pointed out some really troublesome circumstances regarding the timeline as well as the probability of the whole thing.
      I sure would like to hear another podcast or read a new piece summing this circus up!

  13. A remarkable story that is both unfortunate and, to my experience, very common to many Member Guests. Under tournament pressure, a legitimate 12 handicap does not shoot 76. Period. And no one has that many aces….and why talk about so many Par 4 aces? Sad really. For professional golf officials to DQ anyone after the fact there cannot be any doubt.

    (BTW, keep your politics to yourself on a golf site….you are rude, ill-mannered and demonstrating your ignorance….we are NOT interested in your political opinions when reading Fire Pit Collective.)


    1. Anybody can shoot 76 the trick is to do it under the USGA rules of golf. How many guys take mulligans,or roll their balls,and forget about how many gimmes they take. Unless you play your first ball,play it where it lies and everything is putted out you could tell me you shot 68 and i would give it zero credibility. 19 handicaps are that for a reason. Winning a lottery is luck ,shooting 76 is skill.

    2. David, legitimate 12 handicappers do indeed shoot 76. In fact this year as an 11 h.c. I shot the best round of my life, a 75, during a tournament at my home club. No one accused me of cheating because I play almost all of my golf with the group and everyone knows I just happened to have a stellar round. It happens and it doesn’t mean I cheated, it means I’m improving.

  14. When the caddy unsolicitedly started saying he doesn’t keep balls in his pocket reminded me of a police interrogation when they get a suspect talking and they incriminate themselves by stating how the crime was committed without being prompted.

  15. Björn Gustafsson

    Brilliant piece! I’d like another episode with answers to all remaining questions!
    – Did they have a ruling with officials before hitting the shot into 7th as Andy states in his interview?
    – How come Andy went 20-30 yards further up directly instead of looking where the spotter had put the flag?
    – How come he changes his story/timeline multiple times regarding the happenings on fifth hole?
    – Is the meta data of the vid checked?
    – Did nobody see Matt pick the ball out of the hole?
    – How can a pro pick up a allegedly holed shot without his markeur watching in a Q-school event?

    Well i can go on for ages…. But as said here before – it doesnt look good for neither the caddy Andy Smith nor Matt Moroz future in golf!

    1. Great story but,
      spotter was about 300 yards from tee
      spotter saw the ball go into the penalty area about 30 yards from where he was standing
      ball was found about 30 yards ahead (and around a corner of the wooded area) of where the ball entered.
      doesn’t this mean the ball would have very close to spotter.
      I’m just curious.

  16. I listened to both interviews and the only thing I find odd is that Ryan kept pointing out that the 3 other plays never saw the player take the ball out of the hole. However, on the video posted he says “Thank you” to someone off camera. Who is he talking to at that point?

  17. I think he’s shady AF. There are too many coincidences to make it not not weird. But all the information is circumstantial. I’m not sure that you can DQ him without someone actually watching him drop the ball or finding the “first ball” AFTER he hits his shot from the penalty area. I’m not convinced with his story, but I couldn’t DQ him. As crappy as it is….

  18. Guy hosting is the worst ever. “You hit the ball left, right?” Asks a question the keeps talking. Doesn’t know names. Like man, come on!

    1. The host is trash. Clearly bias. Horrible at asking questions. When he didn’t get the answer he wanted he just kept circling back to the same question.

  19. Great stuff Ryan

    Superb job on telling this cheating story. You killed it!!!
    I don’t read a ton of other articles, although I should. I’m busy trying to research and write my own and improve as a writer.
    You drew me into an interesting, must-talk-about topic, rolled it out as if you and I were having a cool golf talk over a few cold beers, and laid it out fairly, objectively, and perfectly.
    If you are around golf long enough, we all have some interesting shot shaving, hole in the pocket, and cheater stories. Yours is one of the best, and most significant, in that the other players are put in an unfair and difficult position, and had the wherewithal and balls to stand up for the game, themselves and the rest of the field. Dan Jenkins once told me to write it exactly as I see it, and you did just that. Great job Thanks.
    I hope you don’t mind if I reference your article in the future on an article I started on Classic Cheatin stories!
    Robert M. Kotowski, PGA Hope /Wounded Warriors
    Director of Instruction, Olde School Golf School
    California Blind and Disabled Golf Association
    Golf Writers of America
    Santa Barbara Special Olympics
    Zaca Creek Golf Course | Buellton, CA 93427
    [email protected] oldeschoolgolfschool- instagram- FB

  20. This guy makes Patrick Reed look like Mother Teresa. One line of questions I have. When the location of Munoz’s ball was marked with a red flag on hole no. 7, did the rules official advise him of that? And, if so, what did Munoz say to the official? Was there any discussion among Munoz, Smith and the official about that marking?

    1. Why in the world did the spotter, who knew Moroz had already been suspected of cheating the day before, walk away from him? That was idiotic.

      How did Moroz not see the purple 12 on the “found” ball when he stated that he played a ball without the purple 12 in that same round?

      1. Even if he did walk away the caddie dropped the ball and the reason he didnt get away with it was because the spotter found the ball. The spotters job is to help everybody find their ball not just police Moroz. The local Nebraska PGA doesnt have the resources or man power or the big galleries as the PGA Tour so the same scrutiny cant be expected.

  21. We’d like to hop on a podcast about this guy – We worked with him and he popped off on me one day when I had to put him in his place because he clearly didn’t know his job role and threw us caddies under the bus – Once I heard he went 2 3 2 through the first stretch of the first 4 holes where we worked was just unbelievable and felt totally made up – Would just go along with it if someone brought this up about that stretch of holes in conversation around the time it happened however in the back of my mind I was thinking no way why are we in this non believable discussion in the first place 🤷‍♂️ – It’s too bad as he is actually a stick however the true colors of Q school qualifying got to him which stamps this conniving liar and ultimately a disgrace to the game as well as others competing to qualify (or even before this qualifier) – To think my tenure at a club relied on this guy as a sub boss for work and because I wasn’t grossly fond of him in general (meaning I wasn’t overtly ecstatic about his stories or golf game) subsequently wasn’t able to work as much as I could have undoubtably now this type of truth is all out on the table – Just a disgrace

  22. I love how Matt says, “I”ve known Andy forever. He would never do that. He wouldn’t drop a ball.”
    As if they wouldn’t be working in cahoots and he would’ve done it without Matt’s knowledge.

  23. I am 78 years old and have served as a Rules Official for 40 years, having started with my father. The first tournament I played in was a Father/Son when I was 13. We came in second but I was incensed by the medalist’s cheating on multiple occasions. (Cheating in a father/son round!) Dad told me to say nothing and just go on; it would be taken care of. At the end of the year I was invited to attend the club’s awards dinner, a big deal to a 13 year old. The winners of the Father/Son were called up and given a quite modest trophy about 6 inches high. Then Dad and I were called up for the runner up trophy which stands about 4 feet high with eagles at its base and a quartet of golden golfers at the top. Golf is a game of integrity and those who do not respect that aren’t “Golfers”.

  24. The host is too bias to get an objective perspective. He goes into this already thinking the guy is cheating and looking to be convinced otherwise. The host’s tone at the end is more like a prosecutor, not a reporter.

  25. Shane gonzalez


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