Conor Sketches: Koepka punched me in the arm ‘your s**t is funny dude’

Ronan MacNamara

Conor Moore (Photo By Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Ronan MacNamara

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When shooting the famous Bridgestone Golf advert with Tiger Woods in 2019, Conor Moore, better known as Conor Sketches, decided he would break the tension by telling the fifteen-major champion how he fared in the final round of the Mullingar Golf Club Captain’s Prize.

Leading after a 66, Moore had a horror show on the greens. Not to go into too much detail, but when relating a tale of woe to the greatest clutch putter of all time, sympathy will be in short supply.

He couldn’t even use the excuse that conditions were really tough out there.

“He just looks at me and he just goes, ‘f**k, dude, that’s a lot of putts’ so that was hilarious!” said Moore who aims to break 80 for the first time as a golfer this year.

Meeting Tiger Woods is the dream for so many golfers, just to be in his presence would be the pinnacle for most.

For Moore, it was the peak after scaling the mountain of risk back in 2016 when a video taking off a chance GAA argument in Cusack Park, Westmeath, went viral and he has never looked back.

From there, Joe Brolly, Ger Loughnane, Roy Keane, Jurgen Klopp, Jose Mourinho, Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Pádraig Harrington, among so many others, were born! Some would say Moore’s personalities are better than the real thing.

“In 2016, I did a video on the GAA championship. There was an argument in town at Cusack Park and the video got 70,000 views so it had legs and I was like ‘wow’ first video couldn’t believe it. I quit my job instantly and decided to make videos for a couple of months and see what happens,” explains Moore who knew he was on to something.

A content creation job with gave him his first break in the gig which allowed him to unearth some more characters, including the undisputed greatest golfer of all time, Ian Poulter.

“When I was in Joe I decided to do the golf. The hard part for me at the minute with golf is the lack of characters especially in the younger generation. They are more media trained, Ian Poulter famously said ‘as soon as I win one major it will just be me and Tiger’ so that’s where my Poulter came from, that’s how that character came from. I’m going to make Poulter think he’s the greatest of all time,” laughs Moore.

The Mullingar man’s summary of golf’s civil war shows that the chasm in men’s professional golf impacts more than just the players. Falling television figures shows that the PGA TOUR is failing to capture the imagination with the absence of some top players who have fled for LIV Golf.

The conflict between the PGA Tour and LIV also affects content creators with many of Moore’s best characters now playing on the Saudi backed tour, leaving the PGA Tour short of captivating characters he feels.

“You don’t get that from the younger players now, Bryson does his best for me in fairness to him. I miss him and interestingly I always look for characters because they are who people want to see and hear from. Most of my lads went to bloody LIV, Westwood, Sergio, Poulter, Bryson, Reed, Phil, DJ, Brooks. Loads of lads gone! The sooner it all gets back together the better.”

Moore’s content has been met with widespread approval from the players also. He made a video for Thomas Bjorn’s 2018 Ryder Cup team in Paris while five-time major winner, Brooks Koepka is also a fan.

“Koepka punched me in the arm and said ‘your shit is funny dude!’ That was cool,” he smiles.

“I interviewed Jon Rahm and he wondered why I wasn’t doing some clips of him but yeah, Brooks was good. Pádraig is great.”

Moore’s work has taken him to some of the best golf courses in the world, to countless pro-ams, even playing golf with the likes of Pádraig Harrington and Shane Lowry.

He describes golf as a game that he loves “but the game doesn’t love me” and at a handicap index of 15.6 he has set himself a goal of getting into single figures, with little excuse given he now lives adjacent to Mullingar Golf Club.

Inspired by Harrington’s ‘Paddy’s Golf Tips’ particularly the video where the three-time major winner says he can get every golfer to play off 9, Moore sought the advice of the Dubliner in his quest to break 80 this season.

“I met Harrington at the K Club last year and I said to him had he any tips on trying to break 80. He asked did I want to enjoy it more or want to get better and I said both. He said you have to focus on one or the other. If you want to enjoy it more, the big stick is the focus you’ll always enjoy it. But if you want to get better, short game. 150 and in,” Moore details.

“He DM’d me on Twitter and gave me some swing tips. He told me to think Jon Rahm so now my swing is shortened although it’s still quite long! I wrote to him a couple of weeks ago and he said I can get anyone to nine which was music to my ears.

“He met me then at the K Club and we had the most amazing day of golf, he was amazing it was brilliant. He didn’t mince his words he said ‘your good shots are your bad shots and your bad shots are your good shots’ I hadn’t a clue what he meant. But he said my straight shots are 30 yards shorter than when I pull it left so I needed to learn how to line up properly and make it go right to left. I was hitting slices off the tee and by the end it was a hook but he said it was good.

“After a while I have noticed I was hitting it 210 now I drive it 240, so it has made a difference. My bunker play and chipping has improved unbelievably over the last couple of weeks as well.

“He texted me a week after saying ‘have you broken 80 yet?’ A bit soon!”

While the devilment of Joe Brolly and the classic one liners of Ger Loughnane are huge hits in Ireland, Moore’s Tiger Woods impression is his party piece.

So much so, that he ended up getting his own show on the Golf Channel during lockdown, but his crowing glory was starring in the Bridgestone golf ball advert back in 2019 with Woods himself.

“It was amazing, just a privilege to do something with him, he was one of the nicest guys ever. He had seen my YouTube channel so when I got in he was asking me questions which helped me because I was incredibly nervous. He was just getting me to do impressions which made me feel relaxed.”

While he was one of the co-stars of the advert, the final cut which has been played on television and social media has Moore’s fingerprints all over it.

Yes, Tiger was genuinely laughing at the end. Feeling that the ad was missing something, Moore advised the directors to insert an out cut of Woods breaking down in laughter at the end when Moore imitated him by doing one of his trademark huffs or “huh.”

“The funny thing about the ad is he says at the end ‘ I don’t go uh’ that wasn’t supposed to be in the ad. I had a creative difference with the director where he wanted Tiger to be stoic. I didn’t think it was the best way to end the ad, he needs to break and laugh. But the director disagreed.

“When the ad was finished they showed me and they said it was missing something and I said we had off cuts where he was genuinely laughing. They grabbed one of them and stuck it at the end of it, it showed real Tiger instead of this robot.”

One of Moore’s famous ticks when taking off Tiger is the rub of the nose.

“He asked me how did I know he had allergies. I didn’t I said I was just repeating what he does on TV. ‘Yeah dude, I got bad allergies’ that’s not great for a golfer but he was brilliant.”

Moore’s Youtube series of trying to break 80 will begin this summer and while he admits his putting and short game is much improved after a few tips from Harrington we will see how he fares if the conditions get really tough out there.

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