Tuesday 20 August 2019

Even Tiger said to me that Poulter was the best impression he'd ever seen

A Quick 18: Conor Moore

Conor Moore. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Conor Moore. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Mullingar native Conor Moore is now world famous in golfing circles for his hilarious impressions of the game's major stars from Tiger Woods and Ian Poulter to Francesco Molinari and Bubba Watson. His talent has allowed him to quit his job and travel the world making an excellent living, but when it comes to a great day out, a game with pals at Mullingar and a creamy pint afterwards in the bar is still hard to beat.

1. Never mind the golf. How did your career as an impressionist get started?

I started doing them three years ago, and I quit my job. I did one video when I was working for Three, and the thing went viral. Quit my job two days later and said, I am going to make videos. So for six months, I just made videos and got hired by Joe.ie. Then the Golf Channel came along last year when I did a bit of video for the Masters.

2. And the next minute you're doing spots with Tiger Woods. How did that go?

It was amazing. He was unbelievably nice. You couldn't have met a better fella. We were there for about eight hours, and I brought the brother and cousin with me. They will even say he was just top class. He's one of those guys who makes you feel 10 feet tall.

3. So how is your golf?

Erratic. I can play very well some days and shockingly badly other days. Consistency is lacking. It's there; I know it is. I just need to work on it.

4. How did you get started in the game?

I played all sports growing up, but they were mainly team sports. I might have played golf once or twice a year when I was younger, just for the craic. It was only last year when the golf took off that I started playing a lot. I knocked my handicap down from 22 to 17. So I've only really been taking it seriously for a year and a bit. I was getting invited to play in these pro-ams and thought, I'd better not go and embarrass myself.

5. Who was your first successful impression?

When I was a kid, I was always able to do Eamon Dunphy. I used to do the Apres Match lads. So the guy who made it all take off, it's hard to say. I did a video with about 12 lads - Joe Brolly and Pat Spillane, Davy Fitzgerald. In terms of really getting broader recognition, it was probably Jurgen Klopp. That got me the job with Joe.ie. Klopp was a big one for me.

6. Choose your weapon. Driver or putter?

Definitely my putter. The driver is the most erratic club in my bag. If I could choose any club, it would be my irons because my putting is only so-so. But I got a new Scotty Cameron recently so right now, I'd have to go for the putter.

7. Links or parkland?

I played links golf for the first time in Lahinch about three or four weeks ago, and I am in love with it. It's true golf. It tests everything. But for my handicap, I do prefer a parkland course because it is easier for me to get my handicap down. But the better I get at golf, the more I will play links.

8. When were you happiest on the golf course?

The first tee at Lahinch in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Pro-Am. It was my 18th hole because we started on the second, but the gallery was lining the hole, and all the Mullingar boys were there waiting for me to make a dog's dinner of the shot. And I smacked it down the middle to rapturous applause and did a little dance after it.

9. Who was your sporting hero?

I played corner forward for my club, and everybody wanted to be Dessie Dolan. He was my sporting hero growing up, going to Croke Park and watching him and the boys winning Leinster.

10. Who do you admire in your own business as an entertainer?

Jim Carrey. He captures what's funny in an impression. He gets the mannerisms and the faces. He does a lot more than just a voice. And Tommy Tiernan. I just think he's a genius. In terms of storytelling, you won't get better than Tommy Tiernan.

11. Which of your impressions has had the greatest success?

Among the golfers, it's Poulter. Even Tiger said to me that Poulter was the best impression he thought he'd ever seen. He said behind closed doors, Poulter actually says all this stuff, and he wondered how I knew what Poulter was really like. Among the general public, I have never had a reaction like the one I had to Ger Loughnane. By far. Even now, people ask when I'm doing him again. He's the funniest one to do. I don't know if I would be doing what I'm doing now if it wasn't for Ger Loughnane.

12. Why don't you do much Rory?

He's hard to do. And he's nearly perfect in the sense that he's very honest in his interviews and there isn't much to caricature. He says the right things and doesn't bullshit anybody or say stupid things. It's just hard to come out with something to tease him with, apart from his hair.

13. Any new characters in the pipeline?

I'm planning to do Brooks Koepka. He pretends nothing bothers him, but he has a chip on his shoulder when the media doesn't talk to him so Brooks might turn into a psychological wreck off camera when I start doing him.

14. Name your dream fourball.

Tiger, Richard Harris and Margot Robbie from the Wolf of Wall Street. I always liked Richard Harris, he seemed like a guy who just loved life.

15. If I gave you a mulligan in your golfing career, what would it be?

I told Tiger how I made a dog's dinner of the Mullingar captain's prize last year. I was the leading qualifier, and I lost it by three shots because my putting was so bad. And he said [doing Tiger] 'Don't worry about it, it's your first championship, and you're going to be nervous'. And I said, 'Yeah, yeah, nine three-putts and a four-putt'. He was like, 'God that's a lot of putts!' My brother said, 'He looked like he was just disgusted with you.' As for what I do, I have no regrets, even the stuff that was bad. You learn from those ones.

16. If you could change something about your golf, what would it be?

If I could drive the ball straighter, I'd get my handicap down to 10 next week. That's why I enjoyed Lahinch and Doonbeg so much that week. We just played the best drive. I didn't have to worry about my drive.

I scuffed my first drive in Lahinch in front of me off the second. I did the Sergio laugh. So I played the pro's drive and made three. I don't think I'll ever make the Mullingar Scratch Cup field, but If I got down to single figures by 2021, I'd be very happy.

17. Who's your favourite golfer?

 It's Tiger. We were always Tiger mad in our house. When Tiger plays, it's a different tournament. He brings that fanfare and electricity that nobody else can.

18. What's your idea of perfect happiness?

It's hard to beat playing a good round of golf with a pint of Guinness afterwards. My favourite hole is the 18th at Liberty National with the Empire State and Manhattan in the background.

But my favourite course is Mullingar. And I am not just saying that because it's my club. It's a course everyone can enjoy. And the Guinness is good. You can't beat golf. It's a great game, isn't it?

A QUICK 18

Conor Moore

Handicap: 17

Club: Mullingar GC

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