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Luck, Jones Make Solid Finals Start

Curtis Luck has found form at the right time as he plays for a PGA Tour card over the next four weeks (Photo: Getty Images)
Five Australians are inside the top 30 after the first round of the opening event of the Web.com Tour finals series which will determine playing rights for the 2019 PGA Tour.

Matt Jones and Curtis Luck fired opening rounds of 4-under 67 at the Nationwide Childrens Hosptial Championship in Ohio to be inside the top 10 and best of the group on a day when 70 golfers broke par.

Sweden’s Henrik Norlander holds the outright lead at 7-under, one ahead of American Robert Streb and two ahead of a group of three players. There are 51 players within five shots of the lead.

Cameron Davis, John Senden and Cameron Percy are all 2-under-par and T29 while Aaron Baddeley is 1-under and T52.

Brett Drewitt and Rhein Gibson are even par and T71 while Stuart Appleby was the only Australian to shoot over par, a 4-over 75 leaving him outside the top 100.

The tournament is the first of four that make up the Web.com Tour finals series which brings together players ranked 126-200 from the PGA Tour and those ranked 1-75 on the Web.com Tour.

There are 25 cards on offer from a mini money list calculated over the four events though 25 cards have already been awarded to the top money earners on the secondary Tour at the end of their regular season last week.

Every dollar earned over the coming month is crucial with eligibility for tournaments on next year’s schedule determined by positions on the money list.

Coming off his best result of the season at last week’s tournament Luck played some stellar golf Thursday though endured a roller coaster back nine.

With three birdies on the outward nine he was in good position early but traded bogeys and birdies in equal measure through the middle of his second nine.

Starting at the 12thhis scorecard read birdie-bogey-birdie-bogey-birdie before he steadied with a par-par finish to be T6.

Jones’s 67 was a more stable affair, the 2015 Australian Open champion posting six birdies against two bogeys as he tries to regain full membership of the PGA Tour for the second consecutive year.

Cameron Davis, who began the year with no status on the Tour but parlayed several tournament invites into a victory in May, will be frustrated with his round.

The reigning Australian Open champion started on the 10thtee Thursday and was 3-under to the turn and moved to 4-under with a birdie at the fourth.

However, a dropped shot at the next, and another bogey at the seventh, saw him slip to 2-under.

John Senden, too, will be disappointed with spoiling a good start with late bogeys. The popular Queenslander was 4-under after nine but gave back two shots on the inward half courtesy of three bogeys and a birdie.

The other Australian at 2-under, Cameron Percy, had a less adventurous route to his final score with three birdies and a bogey on the front nine followed by nine consecutive pars on the back.

SIGNATURE HOLES - 16TH AT WINDAROO LAKES, QLD:

 

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