Curtis Luck wins Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship
COLUMBUS, Ohio – With a clutch up-and-down on the 72nd hole, Curtis Luck outlasted the field to win the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship, finishing the week at 11-under 273. Theo Humphrey, Taylor Montgomery and Cameron Young finished in a tie for second at 10-under 274.
“Yeah, it's actually a really deep breath of relief,” Luck said after the win. “Golf's really tough. It's probably not gone 100 percent to plan with the way I wanted to when I turned pro, but yeah, I've just stuck with it and I'm still working hard. Obviously, to get a win out here is massive because not only does it give me status for the next couple years out here on the Korn Ferry Tour, it just shows that I'm able to compete, which is nice.”
Luck, who held the 36- and 54-hole leads at The Ohio State University Golf Club’s Scarlet Course, emerged victorious from a crowded leaderboard that saw five players tied for the lead at one point on Sunday.
Entering the final round with a one-stroke advantage, Luck couldn’t seem to find his rhythm on the front nine. After seven consecutive pars, he dropped a shot at the par-3 eighth to fall back to 10-under. On No. 11, he dropped another shot with his second bogey of the day and fell off the top of a crowded leaderboard.
“Yeah, it was a tough day from start to finish,” he said. “Unfortunately, I made a couple of bogeys, but I just rolled with them and dug deep to finish.”
Following pars on Nos. 12-14, Luck made his charge back up the leaderboard with a birdie on No. 15. At the par-4 16th, he drained a lengthy birdie attempt to regain the solo-lead at 11-under.
The drama would unfold on No. 18 as Luck found himself one stroke ahead of playing partner Cameron Young on the tee box. Theo Humphrey and Taylor Montgomery had each posted the clubhouse lead at 10-under 274.
Luck’s drive on the 18th hit off a tree but still managed to find the fairway. Young, who began the day one stroke off the lead, took an aggressive line, leaving himself a short pitch shot into the 439-yard par-4.
Luck’s approach missed the green right and found the greenside bunker leaving him a difficult up-and-down. From just short of the green, Young stuck his second shot inside 7-feet leaving him a great look for birdie.
After a difficult bunker shot, Luck faced a 7-foot par putt to post 11-under for the week but was still outside Young’s birdie attempt. As he had done all week, the Australian drained the par attempt, leaving Young with a chance to force a playoff. Despite his best effort, Young’s putt slid past the hole and secured Luck the win.
“Yeah, it was an intense hole,” Luck said of No. 18. “I thought I hit a good tee shot down there and just clipped one of those trees and shot it out backwards into the fairway. And I just, I hit a poor iron shot. I wasn’t trying to do anything special, just middle of the green and hit a poor iron shot.
“Fortunately, yeah, I made a wicked up‑and‑down and put the pressure back on Cam, who as I said, I'm certain that if I missed, with how good a player Cam is, he would have rolled that thing straight in and shut us all out.”
With the victory, Luck moved to 18th on the points list. He also put himself in great position to secure one of the five spots in the 2020 U.S. Open awarded at the conclusion of the Korn Ferry Tour Championship Series.
Next week, the Tour travels to Evansville, Indiana, for the final event of the Korn Ferry Tour Championship Series, the Korn Ferry Tour Championship presented by United Leasing & Finance.
* Sunday’s weather: Partly cloudy, with a high of 84. Wind SW at 5-10 mph.
* Final-round tee times were delayed 20 minutes due to fog in the area.
* This week’s purse is $1,000,000 with $180,000 going to the champion, Curtis Luck. Luck also received 600 Korn Ferry Tour points.
* The win came in Luck’s 44th start on the Korn Ferry Tour. Throughout his career, Luck has made 36 PGA TOUR starts.
* With the victory, Luck became the 12th first-time winner on Tour this season.
* In his previous three starts at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship, Luck had finished T7-T5-T19.
* For the second consecutive week, Cameron Young (T2, -10) earned his best finish on the Korn Ferry Tour.
* In his four career starts on Tour, Young has finished T11-T14-T6-T2. Three weeks ago, Young made his Korn Ferry Tour debut at the Pinnacle Bank Championship presented by Aetna after Monday qualifying.
* Spurred by a final-round 67, Theo Humphrey (T2, -10) earned the best finish of his Korn Ferry Tour career.
* In his first competitive event since his daughter Mia’s passing, Camilo Villegas finished the week T58 at 2-over 286.
* Stephan Jaeger, who won last week’s Albertsons Boise Open presented by Kraft Nabisco, finished the week T5 at 9-under 275.
* The Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship served as the third event of the four-event Korn Ferry Tour Championship Series, which includes elevated purses and points. Five exemptions into the 2020 U.S. Open are also available to the top-five players (not otherwise exempt) in a points list specific to the Albertsons Boise Open presented by Kraft Nabisco, Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship and Korn Ferry Tour Championship presented by United Leasing & Finance. The top-10 players on the Korn Ferry Tour’s overall point standings following the conclusion of the Korn Ferry Tour Championship will also earn entry into the PGA TOUR’s additional events (also known as opposite-field events) during the 2020-21 season.
* The combined 2020-21 Korn Ferry Tour schedule will conclude with 25 PGA TOUR cards awarded at the 2021 WinCo Foods Portland Open presented by KraftHeinz, with an additional 25 cards awarded at the conclusion of the 2021 Korn Ferry Tour Finals.
* The par-3 fifth hole (233 yards) and par-4 11th hole (473 yards) played as the hardest holes throughout the week with a scoring average of +.205.
* The par-5 12th hole (562 yards) played as the easiest hole throughout the week with a scoring average of 4.610.
*The Ohio State University Golf Club – Scarlet Course Scoring Average:
Front Back Total Cumulative
R1 36.285 35.688 71.972
R2 36.167 35.333 71.500 71.736
R3 35.920 34.880 70.800 71.424
R4 35.947 34.960 70.907 71.295
For highlights from today’s round, or any 2019 event visithttp://bit.ly/kornferry2019video