Jordan Spieth admits to being schooled by youngster Curtis Luck, who upstaged the American and claimed a share of the Australian Open lead at Royal Sydney
Jordan Spieth admits to being schooled by young gun Curtis Luck, who upstaged the American hotshot and claimed a share of the Australian Open lead at Royal Sydney. Luck, who heads a batch of exciting Australian amateurs looking to shock the golfing world this week, overcame a first-round wobble on Thursday to finish with seven birdies and a five-under 67.
Happily flying under the radar, fellow 20 -year-old Lucas Herbert who carved his own distinguished amateur career before turning pro in 2015 also posted a superb 67 just days after receiving a late invitation to the 101 st Open.
But all eyes were on Luck and world No5 Spieth as they waged a ding-dong battle in perfect morning conditions. The apprentice took the accolade after a two-shot swing on the 275 m par-four eighth the pairs second-last hole before describing praise from dual major win Spieth.
While Luck whos already earned a double exemption to the Masters at Augusta National in April after winning the US and Asian amateur titles this year made a tap-in birdie, Spieth made a meal of the hole. He drove through the green, chipped short and was unable to get up and down to save par as he slipped to three under and a round of 69.
He was better composed than I was. No doubt, Spieth told of the West Australian. Surely I learned a lot from him today on that side of things. He was smiling the whole hour, truly enjoying himself. I got a little frustrated there when I was hitting it close and simply couldnt capitalise.
Then he got into some trouble with a couple of bogeys in a row … He could have shot even for the day and instead he turned that into five under. So that kind of stuff is unteachable and he has that. Really, really, really impressive player.
Bidding to become the first amateur to win the event since Aaron Baddeleys victory in 1999, Luck said he was inspired by playing in the marquee group alongside Spieth and former US Open champion Geoff Ogilvy. Believe it or not, I wasnt actually that nervous and it was purely because Geoff and Jordan were so casual and so legitimately nice, he said.
Despite his lofty posture on the leaderboard, the world No2 amateur refuses to start dreaming about lifting the famous Stonehaven Cup on Sunday. Theres so much golf after the first round to come, said Luck, who tentatively schemes on giving up exemptions to next years US and British Opens by turning pro after the Masters.
I can still pre-qualify for them and, regardless of which path I take. I kind of have to back myself with doing the most with the starts and the opportunities that Ive given myself. If I turn pro after the Master, I might be able to utilise playing on the PGA Tour and earning some fund and maybe getting some status. Whichever decision I go with, its going to take good golf, regardless.
Four players including Royal Sydney club member Peter OMalley, who slipped up with a bogey on the last are between co-leaders Luck and Herbert, and Spieth. Former champions Geoff Ogilvy, Greg Chalmers and Peter Lonard are three strokes back after two-under 70 s, while Adam Scott carded a disappointing 73.
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