GOLF: Rising Australian star Curtis Luck has given up a spot in the Open Championship by confirming he will turn professional straight after this week's Masters.
Luck, who will play with defending champion Danny Willett in Thursday's opening round, is the world number one amateur, having qualified to play Augusta with victories at the US and Asia Pacific Amateur Championships.
The 20-year-old from WA, who also earned a spot in the Open but only if he remained an amateur, said he would stay in the US for the immediate future and hope for invitations to enough events for him to play well and earn a full-time card.
"We've got three settled at the moment and potentially four or five sort of that are there if I want the offer and want to take it," Luck said.
"But, yeah, ultimately the goal is to play here for the next six months. Use those invites to the best of my ability and try and follow in, I guess, Bryson (deChambeau) and Jon Rahm's footsteps and get some status for 2018 here in the U.S."
Luck, who won the WA Open in 2015 as an amateur, said he could make his pro debut as soon as the RBC Heritage at Hilton Head next week.
He said with so much going on beyond this week he planned to really enjoy his first Masters, and hopes that good golf flows.
Luck has got his eye in playing practice rounds with Scott and Jason Day and on Tuesday he shared the fairways with Rory McIlroy.
In town with a six-member party, including his mum, Luck said he has soaked up every minute of his maiden Masters experience, and every word from his knowledgeable paying partners.
"I got in Wednesday, so I kind of got a really good idea of what the course is playing like and how to play it before I got to the practice rounds with those guys," he said.
"But, you know, they just pointed out a few things, a few pin locations to be wary of, a few putts to try not to leave yourself. But really, the best thing about playing with those guys is watching how they do it; the lines they take off the tees are always interesting.
"Playing with Jason a few holes on Saturday, Scotty Sunday and Rory today, Tuesday, yeah, it's awesome to watch. They are all such nice guys.
"More than anything, it's just relaxing, walking around and being able to have a casual talk with those fellas."
Luck said his first round on Thursday would be the "experience of a lifetime" and he could only hope he holds his nerve enough to make the most of it.
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