Curtis Luck has completed a remarkable turnaround to play his way onto the PGA Tour in 2019 with a top-10 finish at the Web.com Tour Championship in Florida.
Starting the week ranked 16th and all but guaranteed one of the 25 PGA Tour cards on offer, Luck sat in second position through 54 holes and eyeing off a maiden win as a professional as the ultimate exclamation point.
But three bogeys in his first three holes not only put paid to his hopes of winning the tournament but also momentarily put his place inside the 25 in jeopardy.
Back-to-back birdies at the sixth and seventh holes helped to right the ship as he signed for an even-par round of 71 and a tie for eighth, enough to hold his position at 16th in the standings and a step up to the PGA Tour.
Five weeks ago the 22-year-old didn’t even look like qualifying for the Web.com Tour Finals Series.
Sitting outside the top 75, a tie for sixth at the WinCo Foods Portland Open gave him the momentum to finish top five in the first finals event and take up residency inside the top 25.
C’mon Aussie! 🇦🇺
— Korn Ferry Tour (@KornFerryTour) September 23, 2018
Luck joins Cameron Davis and Matt Jones as Aussies to earn 2019 PGA Tour status through the Web.com Tour Finals Series, Davis moving up to fifth in the top 25 courtesy of his tie for third at the Tour Championship.
Already guaranteed his PGA Tour card after finishing third and tied for 16th in the first two events of the finals, Davis completed his maiden season on the Web.com Tour in spectacular style, a birdie at the 17th and eagle at 18 contributing to a 5-under 66.
But as Luck, Davis and Jones celebrate their PGA Tour status the news was not so good for veteran Aaron Baddeley, whose missed cut at the Tour Championship saw him drop from 20th to 30th in the standings and without a card for 2019.
After 16 seasons on the PGA Tour Baddeley will now rely on invitations to stay on the main tour next year, his 70th position in career earnings not enough to qualify for a special one-off exemption.
A final round of 1-over 72 saw any small sliver of hope Brett Drewitt had of advancing disappear while Rhein Gibson’s missed cut saw him drop 15 spots in the final standings to 72nd.
Cameron Percy, John Senden and Stuart Appleby all missed the cut and face uncertain futures with regards to the PGA Tour.