List hopes to make a splash at U.S. Open

Vanderbilt product’s continued development on PGA Tour validates childhood decision to give up swimming

authors David Boclair

Figuratively speaking, Luke List is doing much better than keeping his head above water.

In his fourth full PGA Tour season, he already has set career-highs for top 10 finishes (five), top 25 finishes (10) and money earned ($2,534,209). It is the third straight year he has improved each of those numbers.

His continued growth as a golfer simply validates a decision he made years ago when, as a youth in Chattanooga, he opted not to adopt swimming as a full-time pursuit despite the fact that his parents were both were swimmers and swimming coaches.

“I could have had talent in it I guess, but I didn’t have the passion for the hard work,” List told “… I liked the meets. I liked the competition. I liked that aspect of it. But there’s so much hard work that goes into it and I liked to channel my work into golf at the time.

“It was just too much physical exertion for me.”

His continued evolution in golf has led him to the U.S. Open, where is one of three Vanderbilt All-Americans in the field for the year’s second major championship. The others are Brandt Snedeker and recent graduate Theo Humphrey.

It is List’s fourth U.S. Open appearance. He missed the cut twice as an amateur (2003, 2005). He missed again in 2007, during his first few weeks as a professional.

List earned his spot in this year’s field by virtue of the fact that he was among the top 60 in the World Golf Rankings on May 21. He was 52nd. Currently, he is 54th.

Clearly, this is his best chance to date to make a splash in this tournament.

“To me golf is way more fun,” List said. “So I just didn’t have the passion for (swimming). My family was fine with that. They knew it was a good decision in hindsight.

“They all follow me and love that I’m pursuing golf. It was never a forced issue to go into swimming.”

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