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 where Aussie eyes were trained on the high-profile pairing of Adam Scott and Jason Day, it was the last-minute addition of Luck and fellow PGA TOUR rookie Lebioda that saw the Australian flag flying high on the leaderboard on Sunday.
Given the popularity amongst 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 5-under 67 in the first round fourball format and combing superbly in the second rounds foursomes to climb the leaderboard with a 6-under 66.
A round of 8-under 64 in the Saturday fourball lifted them into the top-10, their 1-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.
Matt Jones was the only other Australian to make the cut, teaming up with American JJ 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 4-over 76 in the foursomes sent the pair spiralling 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 tour 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
T5 Curtis Luck/Hank Lebioda 67-66-64-71—268 $US163,338 ea.
T22 Matt Jones/JJ Spaun 67-69-64-72—272 $19,610 ea.
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
Dormie Network Classic
Briggs Ranch Golf Club, San Antonio, Texas
T4 Steven Alker 65-64-69-70—268 $22,733
T19 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
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