Date: May 26, 2017
Author: Bernie McGuire, Texas

Luck soars after untimely start

Perth’s Curtis Luck came close to disqualification before soaring late on the opening day of the US PGA Tour's Dean & Deluca Invitational at Fort Worth, Texas.

A bizarre misunderstanding of his 1.39pm tee time had Luck dashing to the 10th tee of the Colonial Club just seconds before the official starter introduced fellow former US Amateur winner, Bryson DeChambeau, Japan’s Yuta Ikeda and Luck on the tee.

In fact, the trio were the last out from the 10th tee in the $US6.7m event again being staged on the course where legendary Lone Star State golfer, Ben Hogan won five Invitationals from 1949-59.

“I just mixed up my tee time by about 10 minutes, so I did not really get the chance to have any practice putts before I went out,” Luck said.

“For some reason or another I thought my tee time was 10 minutes later, but fortunately my caddie was there beside me and we made the tee time.”

It did help the 20-year-old that the 10th tee is just a few metres from a large practice putting green.

Luck put the scare behind him and, on the day’s last putt, for an impressive two-under-par 68 in the hot and windy conditions.

His round was a strange cocktail of seven birdies, three birdies and a double-bogey.

Indeed, Luck was three over through five holes starting par, bogey, birdie, bogey and double-bogey after he found the rough with his drive on the fifth before and subsequently three-putted from 50ft.

But Luck made amends with back-to-back birdies at his eighth and ninth holes and then completed his 11th to 16th holes in three under thanks to four birdies and just one bogey.

The effort handed Luck a share of 13th place and the distinction of the leading Aussie in the field, one clear of Marc Leishman.

“It was a great back nine because I was very up-and-down early on and I just felt a little rusty to be three over, but then I got on a bit of a run in holing a few shots from off the green,” he said.

“So, after the rusty start I just stuck with it and ground it out.

“It was good also to be the last group and to come home with a 68 as the conditions did become a lot calmer near the end of the round.

“Of course, it can be very windy in Perth and I do consider myself a decent wind player. But in saying that it is different to back home where it is windy and the courses hard while here it is windy but the course is soft,” he said.

“However I have made some changes to my equipment to get used to the varying conditions over here and I am slowly getting more comfortable.”

The effort left Luck trailing just three shots behind leading American trio of Derek Fathauer, J.T. Poston and Kelly Kraft who each shot 65.