WEB.COM TOUR FINALS
Luck on verge of first TOUR card at Albertsons
September 12, 2018
By Kevin Prise, PGATOUR.COM
- Curtis Luck enters this week's Albertsons Boise Open at No. 12 on The Finals 25 money list. (Michael Cohen/Getty Images)
Australia’s Curtis Luck arrived at the Web.com Tour Regular Season-ending WinCo Foods Portland Open presented by Kraft-Heinz without any guarantees regarding his profession.
The Tour rookie stood No. 83 on the money list, outside the all-important top-75 number needed to secure a Finals berth, full status for 2019 and a chance at a PGA TOUR card.
He hadn’t recorded a top-25 finish since early April (Savannah Golf Championship, T5), and a return trip to Q-School marked a very real possibility.
But the 22-year-old maintained confidence in his game through the latter part of the summer, and things came together in Portland, where he placed T6 at Pumpkin Ridge GC (Witch Hollow) to crack the top 75 and earn a Finals opportunity.
Luck maintained the momentum with a Finals-opening T5 at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship to move suddenly onto the verge of his first TOUR card, with two Finals events remaining.
Despite a missed cut at the DAP Championship, he enters this week’s Albertsons Boise Open presented by Kraft Nabisco in a tie for 12th on The Finals 25. He holds $33,900 in Finals earnings, with another top-23 finish likely enough to cement a top-25 position on the cumulative earnings list. ($44,000 is likely enough in any scenario.)
The 2016 U.S. Amateur champion knows what’s at stake over the next two weeks. However things transpire over the final two Finals events, though, he’s encouraged by the progress he has seen in his second year as a professional, and he’ll strive to maintain sound perspective on the big picture.
“My parents have done a really good job of giving me a good vision of where I sit in the grand scheme of things right now,” Luck said this week at Hillcrest CC, which has hosted the Web.com Tour each year since 1990.
“Technically I’m doing an apprenticeship; I’ve just clicked over my first year as a pro, so I’m learning a lot. Most people that get to high-paying jobs in regular industries, it takes them years, if not decades, to get there.
“So I think my parents have done a good job, and people around me as well, of just giving me a more realistic view on how long things can take, and not to rush things … because I think that just putting that added pressure on myself isn’t going to (serve me well).”
Curtis Luck on verge of first PGA TOUR card at Albertsons Boise Open
Luck turned professional in spring 2017, shortly after becoming the top-ranked amateur in the world. He made 10 TOUR starts during the 2016-17 season, highlighted by a T5 at the Quicken Loans National, and earned enough non-member FedExCup points to secure a Web.com Tour Finals berth.
After falling short of a TOUR card via The Finals 25, Luck turned his attention to the Web.com Tour Qualifying Tournament, where he finished T3 at Final Stage to secure starts for the majority of the 2018 Regular Season.
It was a steady-if not-spectacular Regular Season, where he ranked in the middle of the pack in key statistical categories such as driving distance, driving accuracy and greens in regulation.
Near the end of the season, Luck turned the majority his attention to ensuring a Finals berth. With strong play in Portland, he ensured job security.
Now over the next two weeks, on different sides of the United States (this week in Idaho; next week at the Web.com Tour Championship outside Jacksonville, Florida), he has the chance to take the next step.
“Even though obviously the PGA TOUR card is the big carrot at the end of the season, more than anything I just want to keep putting myself in contention at tournaments,” Luck said. “I think that’s more important to my development at this stage.
“It’s still early days in my career, so getting that learning experience from being in contention, rather than just securing a card and slipping onto the PGA TOUR … it’s much better for me to be up on top of the leaderboard and play good down the stretch on the weekend.”
If he accomplishes that feat, a TOUR card will be an appreciative byproduct.