Media Center Interviews

April 18, 2017

Pre-Tournament Press Conference With Curtis Luck

MARK WILLIAMS: We'd like to welcome Curtis Luck to the interview room at the Valero Texas Open.

Curtis, you'll be making your professional debut here at the tournament. If you could just give us a sense of the anticipation that you've got after being the World ranked No. 1 amateur and you've already played a couple of PGA TOUR events, played at the Arnold Palmer invitational and also the Masters just recently.

So, if you could just give us a quick overview of what the experience has been like for you and coming in here for your first event as a professional.

CURTIS LUCK: Sure. Well, I've been playing golf ten years now so I guess it's been a long time coming to be and turning professional. It's going to be a great week this week to be able to say I could potentially make some money.

I've had a really big six months. I've played basically professional golf purely for the last four months in particular. I think my last amateur event was in early October last year.

So, I've definitely got a lot of experience under my belt and, yeah, I can use this week to put a good couple of rounds in and have a good result.

MARK WILLIAMS: You managed to have a practice round here this morning so you've seen the golf course. How do you think your game will matchup to this golf course here this week?

CURTIS LUCK: Yeah. It's an interesting golf course. It's very different to the courses I've been playing recently. It's quite Australian in a sense, it plays firm and fast and I know it's notoriously windy so I guess I'm a little excited to play those conditions and, yeah, see how it goes.

Ultimately it is a tough golf course and you do have to play your way around quite sensibly. Yeah, me and my caddy, we'll have a good strategy down for Thursday and we'll see how it goes.

MARK WILLIAMS: If we have any questions for Curtis, please jump in and ask away.

Q. Curtis, how do you prepare for the windy conditions in Texas and are there any types of shots that you focus on?

CURTIS LUCK: Fortunately, where I've grown up in Perth, it's like an extremely windy place. So, I would say that's -- I probably need to prepare more for calm conditions, get my launch up where for this it's -- it feels like home. I'm kind of used to this. My game suits these conditions better.

I wouldn't say I have to change too much for a week like this.

MARK WILLIAMS: Anyone else?

Q. Are you feeling fatigued, do you have a sickness right now?

CURTIS LUCK: I was sick last week. I'm just coming off it now. I just -- I haven't got my voice back. A little bit tired this week.

Obviously with being ill so I didn't do as much preparation as I'd like last week but -- yeah, I'm feeling physically fine. I just got to get a couple of good night's rest.

Q. Other than the money, that's probably the most important difference between amateur and professional, what else is the different?

What other feelings do you feel now that you could potentially make some money in this?

CURTIS LUCK: I guess there's a little bit more pressure to perform. As an amateur you know you're kind of paying money to go play and there's nothing comes out of it, where here, it's kind of I'm starting to try to make a living so there's the added pressure.

But, yeah, with my last six months of golf I almost kind of in a way turned professional because I haven't played an amateur event, like an actual amateur event since October.

So, yeah, as I said, in a way I've kind of been professional for awhile now playing these events, just haven't been able to cash a check yet.

MARK WILLIAMS: Before making the transition, had you sought advice from other players or had other players offered you any advice and, if so, what's something that stands out perhaps from a another player?

CURTIS LUCK: Yeah. Fortunately I've had a great experience playing with some really good players. Played with Jordan Spieth, Geoff Oglivy, Adam Scott, Jason Day.

Yeah, I've had to pick up the bench basically for basically what I wanted to play with. They've all been really good with adding some advice and how I should go about things.

It's a little bit different for me this year because I'm playing off invites and I don't have status yet but most common thing I hear for -- from these experienced players is just scheduling right and you can wear yourself out really easily playing obviously a big schedule out here on these big Tours.

They are busy weeks for us as I've come to learn over the last few weeks, in particular at Augusta and Bay Hill.

But, yeah, scheduling just seems likes it's crucial to get right. You don't ever want to be going into an event feeling like the best you can do is make a cut. You're out here to obviously chase wins and climb up the leaderboard as much as you can.

So you're heading into the week not feeling your best and slightly tired, you probably need to, yeah, look at your schedule and I guess have -- I know from previous experience for me, it's more like a three week on, one week off. I can play three weeks in a row and feel great and by the fourth week I start to get a bit tired.

Yet, that's the most common thing I've heard from these very experienced players.

MARK WILLIAMS: Anything else for Curtis?

Being Australian, have you found a base or decided to base yourself somewhere for your campaign for the rest of the season?

CURTIS LUCK: Yeah. At this stage Orlando is the place I've been having my time off. Very fortunate, I've got a good friend, Ryan Ruffels is in Orlando I've been staying and he's being helping me out a lot because he's been here for a year now. Yeah, he's been great.

I still haven't fully planned out exactly what's going to happen over the next five months but Orlando looks like it's going to be a place that I'm going to call home, yeah, for awhile at least.


Q. Do you have any other plans to play any other events this year?

CURTIS LUCK: Yeah. I've already had invites to three others, to Dean & Deluca -- sorry -- to Dean & Deluca, Memorial and Quicken Loans.

Just trying to bump up my invites as much as I can for this season. But, yeah, at this stage a lot of it is uncertain because tournaments aren't in the position to I guess give out things yet. We're going to be out on a limb for awhile and yet see what happens.

MARK WILLIAMS: Okay. Anything else? All right. Curtis, we appreciate your time and we hope you feel a little better as the week goes on.