CURTIS LUCK | EMIRATES AUSTRALIAN OPEN 2016 | ROUND 1 – 17 NOV 2016

KATHIE SHEARER: Curtis, did you have fun out there today?

CURTIS LUCK:  Yeah, plenty.  Fortunately, I had two great playing partners in Geoff and Jordan and they made it a lot of fun for me and obviously I played quite well.  So, yeah, it was reasonable enjoyable out there today.

KATHIE SHEARER:  Jordan was very complimentary on really every aspect of your game.  In fact he said you kept calmer than he imagined that he would, when you had a bit of bad luck, he was so impressed with your demeanour out there.  Is that something that you work on very hard?

CURTIS LUCK:  It’s something that has kind of come to me over the past few years.  I think every child at some point has a few little issues with controlling their anger, but it’s something I’ve got really good at.  I guess now I can kind of put it away and just keep going and digging deep when I’ve hit a couple of bad shots, which today I probably didn’t hit it my best, so there are times where I did need to be able to make some saves and fortunately I did.

KATHIE SHEARER:  If someone were to say to you what was the main thing that you learnt today playing with that calibre of golfer, is there a certain thing that stands out?

CURTIS LUCK:  Look, his ball striking is obviously great.  His putting, he rolls it great.  He didn’t have a great day on the putting green but you can see how he can pretty much go around the course or a tournament and clean up on the greens.  So, it’s really impressive just watching him do his thing really, in Jordan.  Geoff also hits it great, yet again missed a couple of putts out there. I just really admire how casual he is about it, I think that’s great.  I’m someone that enjoys chatting on the golf course, so the fact that he’s happy to talk with some stinky amateur out in the field is pretty good I think.

Q.  Curtis, what did you chat about, obviously he’s a Master’s champ, you’re riding a wave of confidence, knowing you’re going to Augusta next year, did you chat much about that?

CURTIS LUCK:   To be honest, no not really, I spoke early about his schedule and what he’s planning on playing in and where he lives, just general things, just to find out a bit more about him.  I didn’t really enter the Masters or Augusta because I do believe that he’s, as he said, he’s taken six or seven weeks off, so this is kind of, even though he’s obviously still kind of getting ready and getting his head in the right gear, it’s still an impm week for him to obviously start trying to get his stuff together and play some good golf, so I didn’t want to take his mind too much off the golf today.

Q.  When you walked off 18, the big tunnel of people all giving you fist pumps and hi-5s and go Curtis and that sort of stuff, I guess it’s the sort of feeling you could get used to?

CURTIS LUCK:   Yeah, it’s awesome.  The crowd were great today.  It was a lot of fun playing in front of them, and hopefully we get a good one tomorrow.

Q.  How nervous were you before the teeing off and how much did it sort of settle you down getting that birdie straight up?

CURTIS LUCK:  Believe it or not, I wasn’t actually that nervous and I think it was purely because Geoff and Jordan are so casual and so legitimately nice that we were chatting on the first tee before I’d even tee-ed off.  So they really settled me down and obviously making a birdie down the first helps a lot. But yeah, they were great and fortunately I was able to go down the 10th feeling pretty good.

Q.  What about tonight into tomorrow, early start this morning, there will still be galleries tomorrow, 12-ish, right when the TV coverage starts, you’re with Jordan, there’s going to be big galleries again, what do you take from today into tomorrow?

CURTIS LUCK:  Look, obviously, it’s one more time seeing the golf course, so I’m still learning a few things and where not to miss it and where to miss it.  There are a couple of probably little errors I made in my course management today off the tee boxes, so hopefully I’ll have a look at those tonight, also I’ll hit a couple of balls and try and obviously sort out a few of my issues off the tee boxes.

But yeah, everything the same.  I’ve been playing good golf, so I feel like I should just trust what I’ve been doing, so go get dinner and have a good night’s rest.

Q. Curtis, do days like today reinforce in your head that you’re ready to turn pro soon?

CURTIS LUCK:   Yeah, I’ve felt pretty ready for the last couple of months in particular.  Days like this, look at the end of the day, one day doesn’t really matter.  Maybe after the Tournament I might be able to say that it’s reinforcing that that I’m ready.  I’m not going to say anything after round 1 because there’s a lot of golf still to play but yes, it’s definitely heading down that way.

Q.  Is it hard not to get carried away with a first round lead and start dreaming of winning the Stonehaven Cup?

CURTIS LUCK:  Fortunately, I’ve played so many tournaments and big events that I realise, as I’ve just said, there’s so much golf after the first round to come, so you know what, as I said, I’m just going to go back and just, I don’t know, I’ll probably just chill out with my coach, who I’m rooming with this week and won’t think about it a whole lot, to be honest.

Q.  Curtis, we know you’re getting used to dealing with all this sort of hype and having to come in here, if you keep playing the way you are, each day you’re going to come in and we’re going to ask you if you can win this.  How do you deal with all of that outside stuff?  People are going to be talking about you on the TV and those sorts of things, how do you deal with that for the next couple of days?

CURTIS LUCK:   Well obviously, I find this pretty easy to do, but yeah, I don’t know, I kind of ignore it, to be honest, if you want my honest opinion.  As I said, I’ll just do my own thing and regardless of what people are saying, I’ll just stick to what I’m doing.  It seems to be working pretty well at the moment, so as I said, I don’t see any reason to change.

Q.  Curtis, there have been reports that you’re prepared to go pro after the Masters, is that in your thinking?  Are you definitely going to be doing that, given that response in a couple of the other Majors?

CURTIS LUCK:  I haven’t decided definitely but it is looking that way.  Fortunately, with the US Open and the British Open I can still pre-qualify for them and regardless of which path I take, I kind of have to back myself with doing the most with the starts and the opportunities that I’ve given myself.  If I turn pro after the Masters I might be able to utilise playing on the PGA Tour and earning some money and maybe getting some status.  Whichever decision I go with, it’s going to take good golf, regardless.

Q.  You said you were still learning the course.  What do you feel like you want to improve on tomorrow and how much to you think it suits your game and will give you the chance to have a real crack the next few days?

CURTIS LUCK:   Yeah, there are a couple of tee shots that I’m still not 100% certain on what the right play is.  There are a few, 11 is a good example of a hole where you’ve got three options off the tee and I feel like I know the right option and I went for that today but it didn’t quite work out.

There’s just a couple of tee shots where maybe the clubbing I had a few issues with, so I’ve just got to think about it again tonight.  The wind probably didn’t get up as much as I thought it might, it was supposed to be a different wind to what it had been the past two days, but this morning it was quite similar.  So yeah, I was kind of expecting something else.  I guess tonight I’ll just go through it all with my coach and try and hit some shots on the range to replicate what I want to do tomorrow on those holes.

Q.  On 17 Jordan hit his bunker shot to about a foot and then from behind the green you did the exact same thing from the rough.  Your approach on 18 as well was perfect, were there any times today where you even surprised yourself how well you were going?

CURTIS LUCK:  Sorry, what was that?

Q. Were there any times today where you surprised yourself how well you were playing?

CURTIS LUCK:  Not really, as I said, I wasn’t doing anything incredible, I was just kind of managing myself and just getting it around really.  Any time when we’ve got wedges in our hands, we like to take advantage of that, so I hit a couple of good wedge shots, but I don’t think I did anything outrageously good to get where I was.  I definitely think there was a much lower score out there today than what I shot, so it wouldn’t surprise me if by the end of the day I’m a couple behind.

KATHIE SHEARER:   Thank you for coming in.