28 Aug 2021 | Professional golf |
Luck chasing US Tour lure
by PGA of Australia
By Tony Webeck He won’t be seeking him out for travel tips but West Australian Curtis Luck is in position to follow Lucas Herbert to the PGA Tour next season, sitting just one back at the halfway mark of the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship in Ohio.
Sharing an AirBnB in Boise last week when Herbert wrapped up his PGA Tour card with a fourth-place finish at the Albertsons Boise Open, Luck wasn’t surprised to hear of Herbert’s travel misadventures enroute to Ohio but has very much taken his lead in the second event of the Korn Ferry Tour Finals.
As defending champion Luck is riding the good vibes of the Ohio State University Scarlet Course, opening with a round of five-under 66 and then backing it up with a second round of four-under 67 to trail American David Lipsky (69) and Germany’s Stephan Jaeger (69) by one stroke.
Luck’s victory 12 months ago would have ordinarily been enough to earn a PGA Tour card but the extension of the season into 2021 has given him a second crack at it and he is once again revelling in the tough examination posed by the Scarlet Course.
“I used to always think (I liked this course) because it’s firm and fast and like Australian golf but this year with all the rain it’s soft I’m actually not sure,” said Luck.
“Now I’m starting to think that I just like the like of it and like hanging out here in Columbus a lot.
“I’ve been working so hard and it’s nice to get to a golf course like this one which is notoriously quite tough and actually be able to utilise that.
“The golf course being tough suits the improvements that I’ve made.”
If he can hold his position on the leaderboard for the remainder of the week it would see Luck promoted to the PGA Tour for the second time.
In 2018 he finished 18th on the moneylist to graduate to the PGA Tour for the 2019 season, unable to keep his card with a best finish of tied for fifth at the Zurich Classic teams event.
Since his win last year Luck has missed 11 cuts with a best finish a tie for 28th at the Savannah Golf Championship last October, his play this week a timely reward for countless of hours working hard on the range.
“I’ve done so much hard work the last year, particularly 2021. I feel like my game is so much better now than what it was last year when I was here.
“Even the past few months when I haven’t played my best golf on tour I’ve felt like my game is streets ahead of where it was.
“I’m just trying to take advantage of those changes that were made and where I’m better.
“Yesterday I drove it amazing so I just need to have a couple more days like that off the tees.
“It’s been a long time coming and finally it’s starting to piece together. This week it seems to be clicking, I know this golf course like the back of my hand, I know where to miss it, I know what shots I have to hit.
“I’m just trying to take advantage of that.”
As for Herbert’s mistake in flying to Columbus, Georgia and not Columbus, Ohio earlier in the week, Luck expressed greater disappointment in his travel companions, caddie Nick Pugh and trainer Luke Thomas.
“To be fair it doesn’t really surprise me that much,” said Luck.
“I’m just really shocked that his team followed him.”
Rhein Gibson was two shots back of Luck in a tie for 14th midway through his second round, Brett Drewitt climbing the leaderboard into a tie for 18th late in his second round and Aaron Baddeley (five under), Herbert (three under) and Greg Chalmers (even) all through 36 holes.
MATT Jones (tied-27th) is the leading Australian at the BMW Championship as he seeks to push his way into the Tour Championship next week.
MIN Woo Lee is in contention at the European Masters in Switzerland, at seven under through two rounds, inside the top 10.
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