List's hunch proves true with win at South Georgia ClassicLuke List had a feeling that this was his week to win on the Nationwide Tour -- and he was right.April 29, 2012
Anne Szeker, PGATOUR.COM producer
VALDOSTA, Ga. -- Luke List knew he was close. He kept telling himself "this is my week."
And on Sunday in the final round of the South Georgia Classic Presented by First State Bank and Trust Company, it all came down to confidence.
List started his round in a tie for the lead with an admittedly less confident Woody Austin. During different parts of the day, Brian Stuard and Will MacKenzie stepped up and applied pressure. But in the end, some late bogeys, doubles and three-putts eliminated all but List from the top of the leaderboard.
"It feels fantastic," he said after his win. "It's hard to describe. People always say it hasn't really sunk in yet and I think that's the case."
Somewhat surprising, considering the level of his confidence all week. He arrived in Valdosta, Ga. with a goal. He'd felt all season that he'd been getting off to slow starts -- running through the motions on Thursdays and shooting himself in the foot, only shooting even par rounds. This week was going to be different.
And it was.
He started the tournament with back-to-back birdies and never looked back. He held a share of the lead both Friday and Saturday night -- a first in his professional career.
"I'm not going to lie, I was nervous all week," he said. "But the way I handle it is, you just embrace the nerves and know that they're there and you can kind of accept it and move on."
All week, the Tour's longest driver lived up to his title. He led the field in driving, averaging 329 off the tee, at the Tour's longest course on the schedule at 7,781 yards. He had made some tweaks to his driver the week before with his team at Callaway -- it had been a little closed, so they opened up the face a bit -- and he felt he was hitting it better than ever. Even if he wasn't the strongest in accuracy this week (he hit just 64.3 percent of his fairways), Kinderlou Forest seemed suited for his game.
"This course sets up so well for me, so I told myself coming in, 'just stay out of your own way and do your thing,'" he said. "I hit a lot of wedges where I could give myself those 15-20 footers. I never really felt stress out there as far as, OK, I'm not making as many putts as I'd like, but it's OK. I'm hitting it great. I'm giving myself a lot of opportunities. I can eat up the par-5s and hang on for the rest."
Sunday started the same way his week had -- with back-to-back birdies.
"I got off to a great start, which you know, was my goal for the week," he said. "It was nice to do that on the first two holes and that gave me some confidence."
But then there was the lull. He made nine straight pars and stumbled with a bogey on 12, a hole he said "had his number all week."
At that point, the confidence kicked in. He rebounded with an eagle on the par-5 13th, just as his competitors were falling back.
"I just kept telling myself this was my week. This is my turn. And I really believed it," he said. "I really felt like this is mine."
He played it safe on the final two holes, carding two pars to finish at 16-under par.
List was the only player to shoot four rounds in the 60s and his 272 score tied the tournament record set last year by Ted Potter, Jr. List will move up to second on the Nationwide Tour money list, and is already looking forward to next week.
"I think this is going to be a turning point for me," he said. "I can't say that I didn't expect it. I hope it's the beginning of a couple more, and I'm ready to get to Athens."