Baylor alum Luke List set to vault up golf rankings with Honda Classic runner-up finish

Former Baylor School standout Luke List came close but fell short in his bid for a first PGA Tour win Sunday in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
Former Baylor School standout Luke List came close but fell short in his bid for a first PGA Tour win Sunday in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

Luke List came up short Sunday evening in his quest to win for the first time on the PGA Tour, so the former Baylor School and Vanderbilt University golfer will have to settle for some newfound top-20 status.

List finished runner-up to Justin Thomas at the Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., with Thomas making birdie on the first playoff hole after the two finished four rounds deadlocked at 8-under-par 272. It marked the seventh triumph in the past 31 tournaments for the scorching Thomas and the best career showing for List, who earned a whopping $712,800 and now ranks 19th on the 2017-18 money list ($1,457,145) and 16th in the FedExCup standings.

photo Luke List hits on the fourth hole at PGA National during the final round of the Honda Classic on Sunday in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

"I played really well this week," List told CBS after the playoff. "It's a testament to a lot of hard work I put in. This one is going to sting a little bit, but I know I've found a new, restored passion for what I'm doing out here, and I'm excited to keep putting my best foot forward."

The 33-year-old List, who grew up in Ringgold, Ga., and now lives in California, turned pro in 2007 but did not play his first full season on the PGA Tour until 2013.

List was not lacking for supporters Sunday, especially at Baylor, where there were multiple watch parties.

"Everyone here was hanging on every shot today," Baylor headmaster Scott Wilson said Sunday night. "Luke played so well. We're really proud of him and how he carries himself."

It was the same for the three other Baylor alums - Harris English, Stephan Jaeger and Keith Mitchell - who are playing on the PGA Tour. All four were in the Honda Classic, though only List and English made the cut.

"You want to see somebody win that you personally know and have somewhat of a connection with," Jaeger said Sunday night. "He played awesome, especially down the stretch. I think this is his year to win one."

Brooke Pancake, who competes on the LPGA Tour, posted on Twitter that she went to Baylor with List (she was in middle school when he graduated) and went to Alabama with Thomas.

List held the 36-hole lead at the CJ Cup @ Nine Bridges this past October in South Korea before stumbling to a third-round 76 in a tournament won by Thomas. List had the 54-hole lead Saturday at 7 under but bogeyed the third and fourth holes Sunday, which took him to 5 under and two shots back of Tommy Fleetwood, Alex Noren, Webb Simpson and Thomas.

"I've been in situations, maybe not in the final round, where I've gotten off to a slow start," List said Sunday night in a news conference. "That's when your brain starts spinning a little bit negatively, but I was able to kind of bring myself back in."

List birdied the 10th and 13th holes and had nice par saves on 14, when he nearly drove it in the water, and 15. Both List and Thomas birdied the 18th hole in regulation, with Thomas using a wedge from 117 yards on his third shot to get within two feet of the cup.

Playing the 18th again in the playoff, List launched his drive into the right rough, which allowed Thomas to take control.

"I would like to have that tee shot back in the playoff, but that's the way it goes sometimes," List said. "Overall, I hung in there really tough. You've got to give it to Justin. He played nice.

"I've got a great support system - my wife, coach, caddie, everybody. I'm just excited to keep going with this attitude and feel like I've got some good stuff in front of me."

List will move from 124th to 73rd in the World Golf Ranking as a result of his performance.

Contact David Paschall at or 423-757-6524.

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