Curtis Luck has scaled yet another new height after being confirmed as the world’s number-one ranked amateur.
The 20-year-old Cottesloe member displaced American Maverick McNealy at the top of the rankings when the R&A released the revised list overnight.
Luck becomes the third product of the GolfWA system to reach the number one position in the world – after Minjee Lee and Brady Watt – in the past four years.
That enviable record has marked Perth out as one of the most prolific breeding grounds in international golf.
“Claiming the number-one ranking is a tremendous achievement from Curtis and a fitting reward for all the hard work he has put in to reach the top of the amateur game,” Golf WA Chief Executive Gary Thomas said.
“His success is also reflective of the hours spent behind the scenes by his coaches and support team, including the Cottesloe Golf Club and the high performance staff at GolfWA and another feather in the cap for the programme we are running.
“WA has now produced three world number-one ranked players in the past four years and, while we take much satisfaction from that, we also acknowledge the important role Golf Australia play in the overall high performance structure as they give athletes around the country additional support and opportunities to play in significant events.”
Luck has become a houeshold name following a breakthrough 12 months that has seen him crowned US and Asia-Pacific Amateur champion.
He was also a part of the Australia team that won the Eisenhower Cup World Team Championship while on home soil he secured the 2016 Nexus Risk TSA Group WA Open title and was the low amateur at the Australian Open.
Luck is presently in thee United States, where he is preparing to play in The Masters next month, and is due to tee off at the Arnold Palmer Invitational on Thursday.
“Since I started playing really seriously when I was 14 or 15, it’s been my goal from there. So for five years I’ve been trying to reach that number one spot,” Luck said ahead of the tournament.
“I haven’t been checking (the rankings) lately so didn’t know it was getting so close, so to wake up this morning and see it had ticked over was pretty cool.
“It was pretty exciting for me and it was one goal for 2017 checked off the list, so I can now move on to the next one which is obviously playing and doing well at the Masters, so we’ll see how it goes.”
Asked if provided a confidence boost before his debut at the Masters, Luck kept his next goal clearly in focus.
“It’s great. I wouldn’t classify it as a confidence boost, it’s more just gratifying to be in that position and makes me more excited to get there (Augusta National) and compete as the number one amateur in the world.”
Craig Bishop has now coached two players who have reached the top amateur ranking after he also masterminded Watt’s rise to the top in June 2013.
Bishop was on Friday night acknowledged for his work when he was named PGA Teaching Professional of the Year, sponsored by Glen Eldon Wines, at the WA Golf Industry Gala Dinner at Crown.
Bishop was in December also named KPMG Coach of the Year at the RAC WA Sports Star Awards.
Luck was awarded the Outstanding Golf Achievement at the WAGI Gala Dinner, which was accepted by his father Stuart.
“He’s had some magnificent experiences this year – he’s played in Dubai, Malaysia, Japan, Korea and the US. Those experiences are just going to keep happening,” said Stuart Luck, who caddied for his son during the US Amateur.
“There has been a lot of support along the way to get here. Golf WA have been terrific in their support of Curtis right through from when he first came into their development squads as well as Cottesloe Golf Club.
“Craig Bishop has made a huge difference to Curtis’ game – more than just as a coach but as a mentor he has inspired Curtis to have confidence in his own abilities.”