On a leaderboard stacked with Australians Curtis Luck’s finish at the PGA TOUR’s Quicken Loans National might have the biggest impact in terms of careers.
Luck, Marc Leishman and Geoff Ogilvy were all in the mix in the late stages of the tournament in Washington, Luck and Leishman eventually sharing top Australian honours at T5.
While it was the continuation of a good season for Leishman and another step forward for Geoff Ogilvy as he tries to get back to his best it is Luck, who gains another start next week courtesy of the top-10 result, who stands to benefit most from his good play.
The 20-year-old reigning U.S. Amateur champion is attempting to play his way to the PGA TOUR on limited starts and not only will the large cheque boost his chances, the opportunity to tee up again next week is equally important.
Luck started the day in a share of fourth on a TPC Potomac layout that was proving progressively more difficult each day and that was again the case Sunday.
The lead changed hands four times over the opening nine holes, Luck himself holding top spot alone after his third birdie of the day at the fifth.
Even three bogeys in a four hole stretch from the eighth didn’t hurt Luck’s chances too much as everyone in the field struggled to find birdies.
Luck needs to match the FedEx Cup points total of the player who finished 150th on last year’s list to be eligible for Special Temporary Membership of the PGA TOUR.
If he can achieve that he will be entitled to unlimited sponsor exemptions for the remainder of the season and greatly increase his chances of earning full playing rights for next season.
He was on the equivalent of 28 points to start the week (non-members aren’t included in the official standings though their totals are tracked) and needs to get to 319 or better to gain Special Temporary Membership.
His result this week would have earned him 84 points, his 112 total still leaving a long way to go.
While Luck will be celebrating a significant step in his career Leishman will also be taking the positives from yet another successful week.
The Victorian continues to be the leading Australian on the PGA TOUR in 2017 and is rounding into form nicely ahead of The Open Championship in three weeks’ time.
For Geoff Ogilvy it will be mixed feelings after a bogey-bogey finish dampened a back nine rally that had him in contention.
The 2006 U.S. Open was at the pointy end of the leaderboard from the opening round and with three consecutive birdies from the 13th Sunday got within one of the lead.
But a water ball at the par-3 17th followed by a three putt at the last took much of the gloss off the day.
However, in the bigger picture it was another encouraging result for Ogilvy who looks likely to have secured his card for 2018 courtesy of his finish today.
He moved to 105th on the FedEx Cup standings and needs to retain his place in the top 125 to be assured of playing a full schedule again next year.
Matt Jones and Cameron Percy were the last of the Australians to make the cut, Jones finishing T38 and remaining 132nd on the FedEx Cup list while Percy was T46 and dropped two places to 144th.
Greg Chalmers, Aaron Baddeley, Rod Pampling and Ryan Ruffels all missed the 36-hole cut.
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