Former Baylor star Luke List still on the chase for PGA Tour stardom

Former Baylor star Luke List still on the chase for PGA Tour stardom

September 19th, 2013 by David Uchiyama in Sportlocal

Luke List catches his ball during the Farmers Insurance Open golf tournament in San Diego in January.

Photo by Associated Press/Times Free Press.

L2 Charity Golf Tournament

What: The Luke List second annual charity golf clinic and tournament helping special needs children in the tri-state area

When: Monday, Oct. 7

Where: WindStone Golf Club, 9230 WindStone Drive, Ringgold

Schedule: 10:30-Noon- Clinic with PGA Tour pro Luke List, former PGA Tour player Gibby Gilbert II and Web.Com Tour player Bryce Ledford. Noon-1 p.m. - Lunch and auction. 1-6 p.m. Golf scramble. 6-7 p.m. - Awards.

Entry Fee: $150 per person or $600 per four-man team.

More info: Please email Lisa Tubes at L2Foundation@yahoo.com

Luke List has competed with the best golfers in the world.

He's done it for a full season as a member of the PGA Tour. The former Baylor School star has one tournament remaining to determine if he'll be back on the PGA Tour next season because this past year didn't yield the results necessary to automatically retain his PGA Tour playing status.

Despite a season that didn't go as well as planned -- with a finish of No. 173 on the money list -- the lessons learned, and the struggled endures will apply next year either back on Tour or on the Web.com Tour and further into his professional future.

"I belong out there," List said from his residence in Jupiter, Fla., while waiting on laundry to dry. "I love this. It's not a one-year race. I love chasing it. It's a tough way to make a living, but it's fun to chase."

The chase can be daily, as in a chase to the top of the leaderboard of a tournament. It can be yearly, for top spots on the money list. And the chase is a career-long passion to be among the best golfers in the world, play in major tournaments and maybe don a green jacket. After all, List made the cut as an amateur in the 2005 Masters after finishing runner-up in the 2004 U.S. Amateur.

But the chase is not a straight line or even around an oval over-and-over.

It's filled with potholes, bunkers, hazards, airport delays, stiff necks, and barely a break from trying to become the best. The next bump is almost never seen.

"The profession is tough," said List, who grew up in Ringgold. "From being an amateur, to a Web.com player, to this year.

"It was a whirlwind year and it was up and down."

The highs of List's season on the PGA Tour were good -- not great. He made the cut nine times, placed in the top-25 twice, and had a personal-best of tied for 16th at the Wells Fargo Championship at fabled Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte. List played in 24 events and earned more than $264,000.

But the droughts of sub-par scores lasted longer than ever before. List missed the cut 12 out of 17 weeks starting in March.

"It's been interesting and there were a lot of changes," said List, who switched swing coaches to Jamie Mulligan mid-season. "Putting and my short game were just off this year. Being No. 1 in driving distance is nice, but there were a couple months when I couldn't find the fairway. That's tough on this level."

List played the best courses -- outside of the majors -- against the best in the game.

"Seeing some of the places, playing some of the places that I've seen on TV since I started following the game was really cool," List said. "Torrey Pines was one of my favorites. Charlotte was a fun one. It would be nice to get into majors and invitationals down the road and see all the courses on a regular basis."

But finishing No. 173 on the money list placed List in a melting pot of PGA Tour and Web.com Tour players in four-tournament series. In past years, No. 173 on the money list would be sent back to Q-school.

List likely needs a top-8 finish -- maybe higher -- at the Web.com Tour Championship next week at Dye's Valley Course in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., to retain his PGA Tour card. If not, he'll have full status on the Web.com Tour like last year.

It may be a step back on List's grand plan to step forward and consistently play with the best in the business.

"It's a great opportunity to have these four events to keep my card," List said. "The Web Tour is so deep with great talent.

"I'm going to go and try to win the tournament. That's all I can think about for now. Then we'll see what happens."

Contact David Uchiyama at duchiyama@timesfreepress.com or at 423-757-6484. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/UchiyamaCTFP.