Luck was T5 last week to be on the brink of earning a PGA Tour card for 2019 and those prospects remain good though he will need to at least make the cut in the remaining three events.
An opening 75 at the Canterbury Golf Club in Beachwood sees the 22-year-old languishing near the tail of the field and 12 shots off the lead being held by American Kramer Hickok.
Aaron Baddeley is the best of the Australians after the opening round, his 2-under 68 good for a share of 17th place.
Stuart Appleby, Matt Jones and Cameron Davis are all a shot further back and T29 while Rhein Gibson shares 52nd at even par.
Brett Drewitt and Cameron Percy are both 1-over and T71, John Senden at plus three and outside the top 100.
Luck’s day got off to a rough start with a bogey at his opening hole, the 10th, and he dropped another at the 13th.
A birdie at the 15th looked to have restored order and a string of pars followed as he steadied the ship.
But four consecutive bogeys from his 14th was a frustrating way to finish and the West Australian will now have to produce something special tomorrow if he is to play the weekend.
He leads by two at 6-under. pic.twitter.com/7L4N17oOhu— Web.com Tour (@WebDotComTour) August 30, 2018
His T5 finish last week, on the heels of a T6 the previous week just to qualify for the Finals Series, had the former US Amateur champion looking comfortable to graduate to the PGA Tour next year.
While that is still the most likely outcome, the goal is to finish as high up the money list of the four-event series as possible to get the best possible exemption category and today’s round has done little to help that endeavour.
The top 25 on the cumulative money list earn playing privileges but the higher up the standings the more tournaments a player gets access to on the main circuit next season.
Luck is projected at 14th after today’s round and is mathematically likely to earn his card but after such a good start will have his eyes on claiming top spot.
Cameron Davis finished third outright last week and is assured of graduating to the PGA Tour but, like Luck, will be looking to accumulate as much money as possible over the next three weeks to improve his exemption category.
They are the only two Australians currently inside the top 25 though there is time for the remainder to play their way in.
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