A social media push pleading for a sponsor’s invitation has paid off handsomely for Curtis Luck as he and Hank Lebioda recorded a top-five finish at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans in Louisiana.

In a week when Aussie eyes were trained on the high-profile pairing of Adam Scott and Jason Day, it was the last-minute run of Luck and fellow PGA Tour rookie Lebioda that saw the Australian flag flying high on the leaderboard on Sunday.

Given the popularity among the players of the two-man teams event, Luck and Lebioda looked like missing out altogether until Lebioda’s management company sought a creative solution to their problem. Leveraging Lebioda and Luck’s connection with the team from the No Laying Up podcast, a plea was made to support their entry via a sponsor’s invitation, an invitation that was forthcoming just a week out from the start of the tournament.

The pair wasted little time in making good on the opportunity, starting with five-under 67 in the first round fourball format and combining superbly in the second-round foursomes to climb the leaderboard with a six-under 66.

A round of eight-under 64 in the Saturday fourball lifted them into the top 10, their one-under 71 in the final-round foursomes moving them up one spot and into a tie for fifth, six shots behind winners Jon Rahm and Ryan Palmer. Luck and Lebioda banked more than $US190,000 each for the week, about $270,000 in Australian dollars.

Matt Jones was the only other Australian to make the cut, teaming up with American J.J. Spaun to finish tied for 22nd.

Cameron Davis found himself in the unexpected position of tied for fourth after the opening round after he and Kent Jones fired a 10-under 62, but a four-over 76 in the second-round foursomes sent the pair spiraling down the leaderboard to miss the cut.

• On the Web.com Tour, Kiwi Steven Alker has moved within reach of the all-important top 25 on the Order of Merit after a tie for fourth at the Dormie Network Classic in Texas.

Rounds of 65-64 to open the tournament at Briggs Ranch Golf Club had Alker in contention for a fifth win on the PGA Tour’s secondary circuit, but a weekend of 69-70 kept him just one shot short of a tie for second, China’s Xinjun Zhang winning by five strokes.

Alker was in danger of dropping out of the top 10 midway through his final round but three birdies in the space of four holes secured a top-five finish and a climb of 21 spots to 28th on the moneylist.

Sydney’s Brett Drewitt began the final day also contending for a top-five finish but three bogeys in his final six holes saw him drop down to a tie for 19th that moved him up 17 places to 71st on the moneylist.


Zurich Classic of New Orleans

TPC Louisiana, Avondale, Louisiana

T-5             Curtis Luck/Hank Lebioda             67-66-64-71—268           $US190,256 each

T-22          Matt Jones/JJ Spaun       67-69-64-72—272            $19,610 each

MC           Rod Pampling/John Senden         67-70—137

MC           Danny Lee/Sung Kang    65-72—137

MC           Jason Day/Adam Scott  65-72—137

MC           Cameron Smith/Jonas Blix           66-72—138

MC           Cameron Davis/Kyle Jones          62-76—138


Web.com Tour

Dormie Network Classic

Briggs Ranch Golf Club, San Antonio, Texas

T-4             Steven Alker       65-64-69-70—268            $22,733

T-19          Brett Drewitt     68-66-67-74—275            $5,650

MC           Jamie Arnold      71-69—140

MC           Tim Wilkinson   67-75—142

MC           Rhein Gibson     73-71—144

WD          Brett Coletta      72


PGA Tour–Latino America

88 Abierto OSDE del Centro

Córdoba Golf Club, Córdoba, Argentina

MC           Harrison Endycott            74-72—146