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Champs Update: Luck’s Good Fortune Continues in Korea October 10, 2016 By David Shefter, USGA

Reigning U.S. Amateur champion Curtis Luck added to his trophy case with a victory in the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship. (USGA/Chris Keane)

The past two months have been magical for Curtis Luck.

It started in late August for the 20-year-old from Perth, Australia, with his run to the U.S. Amateur title at Oakland Hills Country Club in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., earning him exemptions into next year’s U.S. Open at Erin Hills and The Open Championship at Royal Birkdale in England, as well as an invitation to compete in the 2017 Masters.

A few weeks later, he helped his country win the World Amateur Team Championship by a whopping 19 strokes at El Camaleon Golf Club & Iberostar in Cancun, Mexico.  

Luck’s good fortune continued this weekend in Incheon, Korea, as he overcame a seven-stroke deficit in the final round to win the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship at Jack Nicklaus Golf Club, Korea. Luck carded a bogey-free, 5-under 67 in the final round on Sunday to edge countryman and 54-hole leader Brett Coletta by a stroke.

Luck became the second Australian in the eight-year history of the championship to hoist the trophy, joining 2014 champion Antonio Murdaca.

The Asia-Pacific Amateur champion earns a Masters invitation, along with exemptions from local and regional qualifying for the U.S. Open and Open Championship, respectively, but Luck already had locked up spots in all three majors next year with his victory at Oakland Hills. He also receives an exemption into the U.S. Amateur and the Amateur Championship conducted by The R&A, for which he was previously exempt.

Among those to send congratulatory messages to Luck was eight-time USGA champion Jack Nicklaus.

“I’ve had an amazing year and this has topped it off,” said Luck, who is No. 2 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking™.

This time, Luck not only needed a flawless round, but a little help as well. Coletta, the 2015 U.S. Amateur stroke-play medalist, faltered on Sunday with a final-round 75. He missed a 15-footer on the 72nd hole that would have forced a playoff. It was the same hole where Luck got up and down from a greenside bunker for par, converting a 15-foot par putt.

“It was a pretty nerve-racking finish, as I knew Brett could make birdie on 18, so fortunately for me he didn’t,” said Luck. “That bunker shot was probably one of the most nervous shots I’ve ever had to play, and the putt just topped it off. I left myself a bit of a swinging putt, but I had a really good feel for it.”

By finishing second, Coletta receives a spot in final qualifying for next year’s Open Championship.

Luke Toomey, of New Zealand, carded a final-round 66 to finish third at 9-under 279, three strokes behind Luck.

David Shefter is a senior staff writer for the USGA. Email him at

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