Amateur Curtis Luck has upstaged his Professional competitors to win the Nexus Risk TSA Group WA Open in convincing fashion.
Starting the round with a three shot lead, Luck opened with a bogey but recomposed himself on the familiar Western Australian Golf Club layout, displaying his trade mark calm demeanour.
“I had a bit of an up and down start, I made a couple of birdies and a couple of bogeys, but that is pretty standard for me,” said Luck.
“I had kind of collected my coolness by the 5th, I hit a good shot in there and made a birdie. I just kept the foot lightly on the accelerator and it paid off.”
“It means the world to me to win my State Open and as an amateur it’s even better. To get on top of a Professional field as an amateur, this would definitely be my best win.”
The 19-year-old West Australian fired 2-under the card in the final round for a tournament total 19-under 261 and claimed the title by two shots from fellow amateur, Travis Smyth.
This win is redemption for Luck who finished runner-up at the WA Open last year after giving up his lead on the back-9.
“Obviously last year I was really happy with the result but heartbroken at the same time with the way I finished. To go one better this year and collect the title is an amazing feeling,” added Luck.
“It was always going to be in the back of my mind but I think I shut it out pretty well today and came down the stretch consistently. I think I learned from last year’s experience.”
Luck becomes the third amateur in 25 years to win the WA Open with his predecessors Stephen Leaney (1991) and Oliver Goss (2012) having inspired him.
“I was thinking about Stephen Leaney last night and if I can follow it up with a second at the US Open in the next few years I would be pretty happy. Hopefully I have some cool things in store for me,” added Luck.
“I also remember watching the playoff between Ollie Goss and Brady Watt four years ago and I remember thinking that’s what I want to be doing, I want to be in the same position and guess what I am, I’m just really excited.”
While Luck is happy with his game he is staying tight lipped on when he might turn Professional and join the PGA Tour of Australasia.
‘It’s definitely something I have been thinking about but I still have some things I would like to tick off my list as an amateur,” added Luck, who can take up his winner’s exemption anytime between now and the end of the 2017 season.
“Overseas Tour schools might be on the cards at the end of the year but that doesn’t necessarily mean that I am going to turn Pro.”
“I am pretty happy with where I am at and really comfortable with the golf that I am playing. I feel like I still have things to learn as an amateur so I’m not 100% sure yet.”
South Australian rookie Professional Antonio Murdaca, battled it out in the final group with Luck, and finished the leading Professional on 16-under 264. For his efforts he will claim the first place prize cheque of AU$15,000.
The WA Open was an important week for Murdaca who failed to earn a Tour card at Qualifying School at the start of the year. His performance today places him 40th on the Order of Merit with the top-60 at the end of the season retaining their playing rights.
Also playing in the final group was Rick Kulacz who overcame a horror start where he dropped three shots in the opening two holes. He went on to fire 3-under the card thanks to a hot back-9 and finished the tournament outright 4th on 15-under 265.
West Australian Jarryd Felton rounded out the top-5 on 14-under the card after co-leading following the first round.