After a year of domination, AAC champ Curtis Luck is zeroing in on The Masters with ever-increasing confidence.
Following his success in the US Amateur and the AAC title, the West Australian set yet another mark when he nailed down leading amateur in the Australian Open last year.
And he says the week he spent alongside some of the world’s leading professionals represented yet another learning step.
“I’m happy to come away as leading amateur, but yet again I feel like I’ve learnt a lot this week and it’s another great lesson to learn before my next six months of golf,” he said.
“I’ve got an unbelievable run of events up until Augusta, so there’s no reason I can’t get to the Masters fully prepared.”
Luck had planned to ask 2015 Masters winner Jordan Spieth for some tips about Augusta National during the Australian Open but missed the chance.
“No, I never quite got to it,” Luck said.
“But I did get Jordan’s number and his caddie’s, so I hopefully can call them and arrange a practice round with him and maybe play a little in lead-up or afterwards.”
Luck won the low amateur medal of the 2016 Emirates Australian Open at seven-under, shading Sydney’s Travis Smyth (-4) and fellow Perth gun Min Woo Lee (-3).
Meanwhile, there are reports the amateur star could miss his guaranteed starts at The Open and the US Open this year to turn professional after he makes his majors debut in the US Masters at Augusta.
Luck told Fairfax media he might miss two of the majors in a bid to earn a US PGA Tour card for 2018.
“I’ve felt ready for the last couple of months (to turn professional), but having all these experiences thrown at me in the next five months or six months … I can only see as something that’s going to improve my game,” Luck said during preparations for last year’s Australian Open.
“I’m not sure at this stage if I’ll use the British or US (Open exemptions) as I might turn pro before then and try to utilise some starts on the PGA Tour that I can get. Some people can’t get their head around kind of losing that opportunity but to me and to the players I’ve spoken to…they’ve said regardless of what option you go with you’ve got to be confident you’re going to play well and then go to Tour school and qualify that way.
“Once April comes around next year I’ll definitely feel like I’m ready to go (professional).”
The Perth-raised 20-year-old won the US Amateur and Asia Pacific Amateur titles this year, giving him places in the field of every major except The US PGA.
But he indicated he would have no regrets not playing at the two majors following The Masters, at Erin Hills and Royal Birkdale.
“Whichever way you look at it you’re basically backing yourself to have a good career and play many majors down the track,” Luck said. “To me if I’m going to back myself to go to the US Tour and play seven events and get a US Tour card making however much money, why wouldn’t you back yourself to play majors eventually?”