published Monday, April 30th, 2012

Luke List finally gets a pro victory

First State Bank & Trust president Bill Cowart presents Luke List with the championship trophy after winning the South Georgia Classic at Kinderlou Forest Golf Club Sunday afternoon.
Photo by Paul Leavy/Valdosta Daily Times
First State Bank & Trust president Bill Cowart presents Luke List with the championship trophy after winning the South Georgia Classic at Kinderlou Forest Golf Club Sunday afternoon. Photo by Paul Leavy/Valdosta Daily Times

Luke List kept hearing from family, friends, supporters sponsors, and fellow Nationwide tour players that it would just be matter of time before he would win an event.

But he'd been hearing that since turning professional in 2007.

His time has come.

List, who played his prep golf at Baylor School, won the South Georgia Classic in Valdosta, Ga., on Sunday with a four-round score of 16-under-par 272 for his first professional victory.

He shot a 4-under 68 on Sunday at Kinderlou Forest Golf Club and collected a check for $112,000 with his parents, grandparents, girlfriend and a few friends all clapping -- and maybe crying.

"Everybody said it was just a matter of time," said List, who beat Brian Stuard by two shots. "I expected this."

The win -- and the check -- moves List to No. 2 on the Nationwide Tour money list. The top 25 earn PGA Tour cards for next year. Billy Hurley III earned the 25th spot last year after winning $180,191. List has already earned $175, 448 this season -- including a runner-up check at the Panama Claro Open -- which sets him up in excellent shape to make the top 25 at the end of the year and play on the PGA Tour in 2013.

"I'm looking forward to the rest of the year," said List, as he drove north on Interstate 75 to celebrate in Atlanta. "It was a huge step for me and a huge hurdle for me to clear.

"I have a lot of goals and this is just the start."

List won in part by overpowering the longest course on Nationwide Tour. Kinderlou measured out to 7,781 yards this week which didn't bother List who led the field in driving distance with an average of 329 yards off the tee. He also credited switching to Callaway from Titleist in the off-season.

He began the final round tied with three-time PGA Tour winner Woody Austin who finished in third place. List birdied his first two holes and only momentarily relinquished the lead to Will MacKenzie who gave it back to List midway through his round. List scored nine straight pars, then bogeyed No. 12. He rebounded with an eagle on No. 13 from 260 yards out and added a birdie on No. 16 for a little cushion down the stretch.

"I was ale to draw back on those times when I was in contention and it helped," List said. "I was nervous. But the thing is to know how your body is going to react. My caddie, Kevin Velardo, did a great job.

"I truly believed it was my time. I was due."

List is next scheduled to play in the Stadion Classic at the University of Georgia Golf Course with competition commencing on Thursday.

He is also slated to hold a clinic and host a charity tournament to benefit the Catoosa County Special Olympics program on May 7 at Bear Trace Harrison Bay with fellow professional Bryce Ledford.

about David Uchiyama...

David Uchiyama is a sports writer at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who began his tenure here in May 2001. His primary beats are UTC athletics — specifically men’s basketball and athletic department administration — and golf, which includes coverage from the PGA Tour to youth events. He also covers other high school sports, outdoor adventures, and contributes to other sections of the newspaper when necessary. David grew up in Salinas, Calif., and began working ...

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