West Australian Curtis Luck has continued his upward trend with his best PGA TOUR finish in almost two years despite a disappointing final round at the Valspar Championship in Florida.

Curtis LuckLuck finished tied with Matt Jones as the best performed Australians at the Innisbrook Resort’s Copperhead Course as Englishman Paul Casey mounted a successful defence of the title he won 12 months ago.

With scoring at a premium and the famed ‘Snake Pit’ taking a bite out of plenty of competitors over the closing three holes, Luck was in position to record the second top-five finish of his career entering the final round tied for sixth.

A birdie at the opening hole was the ideal start but with 3-under 68 the best score on the final day, Luck was unable to continue that early momentum.

A bogey at the par-5 5th and an untidy bogey at the 9th saw him turn at 1-over, dropping a further shot on his inward nine at the par-3 15th to end the week with a 2-over 73 and tied for 13th, good enough to climb 26 spots to be ranked 157th in the FedEx Cup standings.

Like Luck, Jones started his day in the right fashion with a birdie at the 1st and made further inroads on the leaderboard with a birdie at the 5th thanks to a near perfect pitch from close to 50 yards from the hole.

That moved the New South Welshman inside the top-10 but dropped shots at the 8th, 14th, 16th and 18th holes saw him sign for a 1-over 72 and level with Luck in a tie for 13th.

Kiwi Danny Lee was the only other Australasian player to qualify for the weekend, moving up three spots on Sunday to finish tied for 54th.

Valspar Championship

Innisbrook Resort (Copperhead Course), Palm Harbor, Florida

T13        Matt Jones          73-68-68-72—281            $121,940

T13        Curtis Luck          70-68-70-73—281            $121,940

T54        Danny Lee           72-71-73-72—288            $15,209

MC         John Senden       74-71—145

MC         Jason Day            74-71—145

MC         Rod Pampling     73-73—146

MC         Cameron Davis   75-73—148