Date: November 19, 2016
Author: John Huggan

Luck’s Open dilemma


It might not happen, but if it does Curtis Luck is going to have to qualify for next year’s Open Championship at Royal Birkdale. Right now, of course, the 20-year old Australian’s stirring victory at the US Amateur Championship assures him of a spot in the field for the next playing of golf’s oldest major. But should he turn professional before next July, he will forfeit that exempt spot. 

So far so good. Or at least understandable.

Here’s the thing though. This weekend’s Emirates Australian Open at Royal Sydney has three places in the 2017 Open available to anyone who finishes in the top-ten and is not already exempt for Royal Birkdale. The key words, however, are “not already exempt.” Because he is currently in the field for the Open, Luck is deemed ineligible for one of those three spots over the next two days. 

Still with me? Good.

The bottom line: Even if Luck finishes amongst the top-three Open qualifiers here he will not be granted an exemption into the starting field for Birkdale. And should he subsequently turn professional there will be no retrospective change to the qualifying criteria.