A birdie on the first hole of his first tournament since mid-February was nice but what West Australian Curtis Luck did next was nothing short of extraordinary.
Having teed off from the 10th hole in the Korn Ferry Tour’s Korn Ferry Challenge at TPC Sawgrass’s Valley Course, Luck made a regulation one-putt birdie at the 408-yard par-4 10th. Next was the 229-yard par-3 11th – the second toughest hole on the golf course – where Luck made the first competitive hole-in-one of his career.
Three-under through two holes catapulted Luck towards the top of the leaderboard and he managed to maintain his position for the remainder of the round, three birdies in his final five holes countering three bogeys to open with a 3-under 67 and tied for 11th.
Despite his spectacular scorecard Luck wasn’t the pick of the Australasian players during Round 1 of the Korn Ferry Tour’s resumption with Kiwi Tim Wilkinson going one better than the Aussie with a 4-under 66 to be tied for second, two shots behind Frenchman Paul Barjon.
Like Luck, Wilkinson started his opening round from the 10th tee and made the turn at 3-under, two further birdies and a lone bogey at the par-4 fourth putting the left-hander in a strong position late in the first round.
Sydney’s Harrison Endycott was the next best of the Aussies with an even par round of 70 putting him in a tie for 62nd followed by Ryan Ruffels (71), Brett Drewitt (72), Jamie Arnold (72), Robert Allenby (73) and Brett Coletta (73) needing to make some positive progress in the second round to make the cut.