Recent surge puts Luke List in line for PGA Tour card - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Recent surge puts Luke List in line for PGA Tour card

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CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) -- Boosting his bank account by nearly $160,000 in the past two weeks has earned Luke List a new nickname.

But that doesn't mean his long-time friends think List's success has gone to his head.

"I call him 'Big Time' now," joked former UTC golfer Bryce Ledford on Monday. "But he's still the same guy. When we went and got breakfast this morning it was the exact same as it always is."

While an early-morning stop at Chik-Fil-A was no different, List's career patch may never be the same.

The Ringgold native and former Baylor School star claimed his first career Nationwide Tour win two weeks ago at the South Georgia Classic and followed it with a runner-up finish at the Stadion Classic in Athens this past weekend.

Those two finishes have jumped List to No. 1 on the Nationwide Tour money list through eight events, all but cementing his place on the PGA Tour next year considering the top 25 on the list earn tour cards for the following season.

But that doesn't mean he's about to let up.

"It's been a really fun stretch," List said Monday morning while joining Ledford for a clinic at the Catoosa County Special Olympics Charity Golf Tournament at Bear Trace. "The position I'm in right now is pretty much the equivalent of finishing in the top 25 and getting my card for next year, but it's a big difference from just winning your card and finishing atop the money list.

"The higher up you are the better position you are starting next year on the PGA Tour."

That more mature approach has been the difference for List in 2012.

He has continued to work on his swing and his game, but mental game has been strengthened by a few near misses in recent years.

"I'd like to say it's been a long time coming, and I've been patient, but really I've just kept working hard," he said. "I've had a really good attitude this year and have felt really good about my game, so I just hung in there and the good things were worth waiting for.

"It's so different when you can go out there and have confidence in your game. I feel now like I'm one of the best guys out there, so it's easier to just trust my game."

That message and List's recent surge have resonated with Ledford, who continues to grind his way through smaller tours.

He feels his game is following a similar path, and it's only a matter of time before his breakthrough comes.

"It's been a special two weeks for him, and it's been a real eye-opener for me," Ledford said. "I see that if he can go out there and do that, I know I can do the same thing."

"It's really easy to get down on yourself, but you have to remind yourself you're playing golf for a living, so be positive about it and good things will happen."

More good things could be coming soon for List if he can keep it rolling.

While his status for 2013 looks to be locked up, he could still make a move to make the jump to the PGA Tour this year.

Anyone who wins three Nationwide Tour events in the same year is automatically promoted to the next level through what's generally called a "battlefield promotion."

"I'm looking for three wins," List said. "That 'Battlefield Promotion' has rarely been done, but that's my goal: get three wins and get out there on the big-boy tour as soon as possible."

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