Curtis Luck ‘a little guilty’ after Asia-Pacific Amateur win denies Brett Coletta US Masters ticket
One already had a golden ticket to a US Masters, one of his best mates desperately wanted one.
And in one of those truth is stranger than fiction moments one of Australia’s leading amateurs won one of world golf’s most prestigious events, but struggled to celebrate because he knew he had denied a good friend a chance to join him at Augusta National.
Western Australia’s Curtis Luck won the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship over the weekend, an event which carried the carrot of a start in golf’s most watched event.
The only problem was of the 118-man field which teed up at Jack Nicklaus Golf Club in Korea, Luck was the only one who wasn’t playing for a chance to drive down Magnolia Lane.
By virtue of winning the US Amateur title already he was already guaranteed a spot in the first major of 2017.
And when he dropped a birdie putt on the last hole and Victorian Brett Coletta sent a similar effort askew in the trailing group the realisation of what Luck’s one-stroke victory had meant began to sink in.
“Brett’s a really close friend of mine so I obviously understand about the opportunity of what he’s just missed out on so I will say that I feel a little guilty and a little bad, but unfortunately that’s the spot we’re in,” Luck said. “And I’m so competitive that I couldn’t give up the chance to win an event like this, but I definitely feel for Brett.”
And so does the rest of the Australian golf fraternity. Coletta and NSW’s Cameron Davis looked poised to fight out a start at Augusta for much of the Asia-Pacific Amateur at Incheon, but both struggled in the final round carding a 75 and 77 respectively.
It opened the door for Luck who fired a nerveless bogey-free five-under over the closing 18 holes to win by a shot from Coletta with New Zealand’s Luke Toomey two shots further back in third. Davis finished the tournament at seven-under in fourth spot.
“Out there my job was simple, I was purely trying to climb the leaderboard as much as I could even if the result at the end of the day wasn’t as significant [for me],” Luck said.
“I was able to go after it on that final nine holes and fortunately I took some advantage of some good shots and I think having that ticket to Augusta already was a bit of a relief for me.”