Date: October 05, 2016
Author: Tom Fee, Korea

Luck in it to win it, Coletta and Smyth talk

At the Asia-Pacific Amateur there are two types of golfers: those competing for a spot at the 2017 Masters and Curtis Luck.

Awkwardly for Luck, tournament organisers declared that if the world No.2 was to win this week, the start would not be passed on to second place.

It would be very un-Masters like if they opened their doors to anyone less than a champion of their flagship amateur event, but it also means Luck could find himself responsible for sinking a putt that denies one of his mates the chance to join him in Augusta next April.

With the Australian team comprising Eisenhower Trophy heroes Luck, Cameron Davis and Harrison Endycott, as well as the highly ranked Travis Smyth, Anthony Quayle and Brett Coletta, it's an entirely possible scenario.

So, what would Curtis Luck do?

Try to win it anyway.

“I spoke to Harrison last week and he said that if we’re in that position coming down the last all tied, he wanted me to play my hardest,” Luck said.

“Everyone likes playing their best golf to win; you don’t want to see a situation where someone gives it away. I guess it’s the same for me if I end up in that situation.”

But Luck doesn’t need his teammates' blessing — it's not in his nature to be anything but competitive.

“I had assumed that second place would get the invite, but at the end of the day it's what we all play golf for,” Luck said.

“We have that passion to try and win events and that’s the feeling we all enjoy and strive for, so I’m here to try my hardest and you won’t see me giving anything away down the stretch.

“It's definitely an interesting position to be in – I can't say that I wouldn't feel a little guilty if that were to happen!”

But it's not like Luck has nothing on the line at Incheon's Jack Nicklaus Golf Club, which hosted the 2015 Presidents Cup.

At No.2 in the world, there's daylight between the Cottesloe golfer and No.1 Maverick McNealy – and Luck needs to take every opportunity to peg back the American.

“It’s definitely on my mind to try and get to that No.1 spot,” Luck said.

“My schedule over the next eight months carries some great points, so it’s do-able, but it’s going to take some great golf. If I go into this thinking positively, hopefully in 4-5 months I hope I'll be able to say I got to and achieved that No.1 spot."

Even with his ranking in the back of his mind, Luck doesn't envy his fellow competitors after enduring the pressure cooker of the US Amateur.

“Having a start locked in, it's a good thing,” he said.

“It’s taken the pressure off the playing side of things, so it’s probably going to help a fair bit. There’s not a whole lot of pressure on me while every other player in the field is playing for something massive.”