Luck into sudden death at US Amateur

13th Aug 2014

Cottesloe’s Curtis Luck has finished right on the cut line at 2-over par after two rounds of strokeplay at the US Amatuer. In a nail-biting finish to the day, he will now go to sudden death with 17 others, playing for 4 spots, teeing off at 8pm Wed 13 August Perth time.

312 starters completed the stroke-play qualifying at the US Amateur at the Atlanta Athletic Club in Georgia. The field played 18 either at the par-71 Highlands Course (which will host the match-play for the top 64-qualifiers) and then swap over an play their second 18 with the other course the par-72 Riverlands Course.

Luck finished the highest of the seven Australians after the strokeplay, and it will be a nervous wait overnight to see if he will be the lone Aussie contesting the matchplay.

Gosnells’ Jarryd Felton made a huge comeback in the second round, shooting a 70, one of the best scores for the day, to finish just outside the cut at 3-over.

US Amateur Round 2 Report: Courtesy of Stuart Luck and Cottesloe Golf Club

Curtis was off early at 8.10 and shot an even par 72 at the Riverside course before a long afternoon waiting to hear how his total of 2-over par would go in making the round of 64 match play.

Stuart Luck reports on an adventurous round in which Curtis visited the river that gives the course it’s name and finished with a monster 30-foot birdie on the last from rough and trees that was the difference in the end.

“We had another great day today. Curtis played his normal adventurous golf, I bit off what was left of my already depleted fingernail stocks and Jody finally took a breath on the 18th.

Curtis was pretty solid although having to rely heavily on his short game for saves. He was even for most of the first nine and got it to one under after 10 on his back nine which in our best guess put him right on the cut line.

It was unfortunate today that three of his bogies came on greens he hit pretty much in regulation and should have made par. Consecutive bogies on his 16th and 17th holes put him at 1-over and 3 over for the tournament, but a brilliant birdie on his last hole, the 440m par-4 ninth, came from out of the rough in thick pine trees well right of the fairway and after holing from about 30 feet. A nervous wait now to see if he gets into a playoff to make the cut.”

Highlands course: Fairways hit 7/14, Greens in regulation 9/18,Up and downs 6/7, Sand saves 2/4, Putts 28.

Riverside Course: Fairways hit 5/14, Greens in regulation 13/18,Up and downs 4/5, Sand saves 1/1, Putts 31.

Stuart Luck noted: “10/12 up and downs for the tournament makes for exciting golf! Never a dull moment around Curtis. “

US Amateur Round 1 Report: Courtesy of Stuart Luck and Cottesloe Golf Club

Curtis Luck has opened with a 2-over 73 at the Highlands Course, leaving him with work to do but still very much in contention in the big field aiming for a top-64 finish and qualifying. With the three leaders at 6-under there a big groupings at 1-over (spots 45-70) and at 2-over (spots 71-105).

“So ends a successful day at the US Amateur. In mostly overcast but otherwise perfect conditions Curtis started his day with a regulation par on the first hole.

His drive on the 465m; Par 4 second found the right bunkers and from there he found himself in serious trouble managing to get away with a bogey in the end. Comfortable pars followed on 3 and 4 and then a ripped 3 wood from the fairway (252 m from the pin) on the 520m fifth left him pin high. He holed the 9 foot putt for a great eagle.

A poor tee shot followed on 6 but a great recovery from the pine needles; and another great putt from 11 foot saw him at 2 under. His tee shot on the par three seventh just ran off the back of the green to a back pin, but a sensational chip saw him with a 270o lip out for birdie. Curtis then hooked his tee shot on the par 4, 8th into the water and left himself a 215m third from the rough. His hybrid pitched front of green but ran off the back leaving him a very difficult up and down (which he didn’t make) and he took a double to get him back to even. Curtis rounded the nine out with a regulation par.

Curtis opened the ledger on 10 with a soft bogey after finding the green in regulation and backed that up with another bogey on the par 4; 11th after a poor second shot. Onto the 510m par 5; 12th. This is where it becomes uncomfortable watching Curtis as he decides to pull 3 wood with a very small landing area on the undulating green which is flanked by water. His shot sailed clean over the green and into thick rough. With no way to get to the pin, Curtis chipped about 10 metres left of the pin; up and over one bunker to land (deliberately) in the rough so as not to roll into the next bunker. A sneaky up and down from there saw him walk away with a creative (and nail biting for us) par.

The next 3 holes saw Curtis make 3 consecutive up and downs for par, one of which was quite breathtaking on 16. On 17 he carried the water (just) to leave himself a 27 foot (his measurement – not mine) where he left his putt dead centre only a couple of centimetres short. Obviously in the mood to torture his parents, Curtis hit a solid drive on the 505m Par 5; 18th. At this point I have to admit that I was hoping he would hit a poor tee shot – because that in turn would have forced him to lay up short of the water! But no – Curtis and his aggressive golfing nature decide to go for the 210m carry over the water to a front pin. He sprayed it badly right; eventually his ball pulled up 2 feet short of the lake on the WRONG 18th hole (from the other course). His pitch from the rough came up well short and he 2 putted for a comfortable par (that’s what he calls comfortable).

I asked Curtis about his logic on 12 and 18 to which he confidently replied, “I knew that even if I went for it, the worst I would have walked away with was par”……. And here I was thinking they had “potential double bogey written all over them”. I then sat at the bar for 2 hours and watched the next 7 groups or so come up the 18th and only saw one other player attempt to take on the water. Fingers crossed for tomorrow!”