23 Aug 2021 | Professional golf |

Aussies on Tour: Herbert's breakthrough

by PGA of Australia

Lucas Herbert Korn Ferry image
Lucas Herbert drives during his excellent final round in Boise, Idaho today. Photo: Getty

By Tony Webeck

A birdie at the 72nd hole has secured Lucas Herbert promotion to the PGA Tour, finishing tied for fourth in the first event of the Korn Ferry Tour Finals, the Albertsons Boise Open in Idaho.

After Brett Drewitt earned one of 25 PGA Tour cards awarded after the end of the regular season last week, Herbert joined the Korn Ferry Tour for a three-event finals series where 25 additional cards are up for grabs.

Although he was cautious not to celebrate too soon, Herbert’s thrilling finish and two players ahead of him having already secured PGA Tour cards means he will spend next year plying his trade primarily on the PGA Tour.

Beginning the final round in a share of 12th, Herbert had four birdies and two bogeys in a front nine of two-under 34, unable to get up-and-down at the par-four 10th to fall to 13 under for the tournament.

Needing a late surge to put himself in the frame for a PGA Tour card, the 25-year-old birdied the par-three 13th, sparking a run that included birdies at 15 and 16 and a brilliant approach into 18, his birdie putt from five feet curling in on the right edge to reach 17 under.

“I am just thrilled,” said Herbert, who played six regular-season PGA Tour events this year with a best finish a tie for 18th at The Memorial Tournament.

"It’s been a really good season to learn a lot about PGA Tour golf. “Twelve months ago, standing in this position, I wasn’t ready to play out on the PGA Tour. “This time around I think I’m a lot better prepared to be able to go out there and hopefully play really nicely next year and not have to be back here at the Korn Ferry Finals. “It’s what you dream of as a kid. You want to play on the PGA Tour. At times it has felt so far away and right now it feels so close.”

The realisation of Herbert’s PGA Tour dream came just a day after what would have been Jarrod Lyle’s 40th birthday, Herbert a Challenge ambassador and sporting his Leuk the Duck headcover at Hillcrest Country Club.

With two finals events remaining Aaron Baddeley (71) will need to post a high finish after he ended week one of the finals in a tie for 48th, West Australian Curtis Luck (76) the only other Aussie to make the cut in a share of 79th.

The pursuit of an LPGA Tour card also commenced over the weekend with amateur Grace Kim leading the way of the four Aussies to progress from Stage 1 of Qualifying School in California.

Kim’s closing five-under 67 was her best round of the tournament to climb into a tie for 10th at nine under par, Emily Mahar (73), Kirsty Hodgkins (71) and Stephanie Bunque (71) also inside the top 95 who advance to Stage II in Florida in October.

Although safely secure on the Champions Tour Rod Pampling can now start planning for a 2022 season that will start in Hawaii after taking out the Boeing Classic in Washington.

Breaking a Champions Tour winless drought stretching back to Rodger Davis’s Toshiba Senior Classic victory in 2003, Pampling used a closing round of six-under 66 to assume the lead in the clubhouse and then watched on as his nearest challengers failed to reach his winning mark of 12 under par.

“You look at all the Hall of Famers are just phenomenal out here. There’s so many and they still play really good golf,” said Pampling, who qualifies for the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai reserved only for Tour winners.

“People think they don’t, but I’ll tell you what, they play so good. It’s just not quite as far off the tee anymore, but everything else is still really good.

“To get a win you’ve got to play good and thankfully I did today.

“We got a little bit lucky at the end, but sometimes that’s what you need.”

Elsewhere this week Blake Windred moved closer to a European Tour card with a tie for 10th at the Challenge Tour’s Sydbank Esbjerg Challenge, Maverick Antcliff was the best of the Aussies in a tie for 29th at the D+D Real Czech Masters and Minjee Lee and Stephanie Kyriacou both saw the top of the leaderboard before finishing fifth and 13th respectively at the AIG Women’s Open. Results Korn Ferry Tour Albertsons Boise Open Hillcrest Country Club, Boise, Idaho Winner Greyson Sigg 65-70-65-65—265 T4 Lucas Herbert 69-64-68-66—267 T48 Aaron Baddeley 71-68-66-71—276 T69 Danny Lee 71-68-69-71—279 T79 Curtis Luck 70-69-70-76—285 MC Brett Drewitt 72-69—141 MC Greg Chalmers 69-72—141 WD Rhein Gibson 73-48 Champions Tour Boeing Classic TPC at Snoqualmie Ridge, Snoqualmie, Washington Winner Rod Pampling 68-70-66—204 $US315,000 T7 Steven Alker 67-73-67—207 $64,050 T26 David McKenzie 71-70-71—212 $16,380 T56 Robert Allenby 78-69-70—217 $4,200 61 John Senden 71-74-73—218 $3,570 T67 Stephen Leaney 72-74-76—222 $2,058 AIG Women’s Open Winner Anna Nordqvist 71-71-65-69—276 $US870,000 T5 Minjee Lee 71-69-72-66—278 $219,787 T13 Stephanie Kyriacou 72-70-71-69—282 $85,328 T29 Lydia Ko 72-71-72-71—286 $44,992 T34 Su Oh 71-69-71-76—287 $36,442 T48 Hannah Green 73-70-71-76—290 $21,491 MC Whitney Hillier 73-74—147 MC Katherine Kirk 72-78—150 MC Sarah Kemp 78-76—154 MC Kirsten Rudgeley (a) 86-76—162 European Tour D+D Real Czech Masters Albatross Golf Resort, Prague, Czech Republic Winner Johannes Veerman 71-66-68-68—273 €149,920 T29 Maverick Antcliff 67-70-74-72—283 €8,665 T29 Ryan Fox 70-72-70-71—283 €8,665 T47 Jake McLeod 73-69-72-73—287 €5,117 T58 Josh Geary 73-71-73-73—290 €3,671 WD Deyen Lawson 71-72-77—220 €2,308 MC Bryden Macpherson 72-75—147 Japan Golf Tour Shigeo Nagashima Invitational Sega Sammy Cup The North Country Golf Club, Hokkaido Winner Kazuki Higa 68-65-67-68—268 ¥24m T59 Scott Strange 66-72-74-81—293 ¥278,400 MC Andrew Evans 74-68—142 MC Todd Sinnott 70-74—144 MC Anthony Quayle 73-71—144 MC David Bransdon 70-74—144 MC Dylan Perry 75-70—145 Challenge Tour Sydbank Esbjerg Challenge Esbjerg Golfklub, Esbjerg, Denmark Winner Espen Kofstad 68-70-68-67—273 €32,000 T10 Blake Windred 69-74-67-69—279 €3,840 Legends Tour Irish Legends Presented by The McGinley Foundation Rosapenna Hotel and Golf Resort, Ireland Winner Thomas Bjorn 67-66-65—198 €45,000 T18 Peter Fowler 72-70-67—209 €4,057 T31 Michael Long 67-74-72—213 €2,185 LPGA and Symetra Tour Qualifying Stage I Rancho Mirage, California Top 95 and ties advance to Stage II Winner Gina Kim (a) 71-69-66-67—273 T4 Amelia Garvey 68-69-67-72—276 T10 Grace Kim (a) 73-68-71-67—279 T22 Emily Mahar (a) 67-69-74-73—283 T38 Kirsty Hodgkins (a) 67-75-73-71—286 T75 Stephanie Bunque 74-70-75-71—290 T96 Munchin Keh 72-73-72-75—292 T124 Julianne Alvarez 74-72-72-77—295 MC Laura Hoskin 74-73-73—220 MC Jess Whitting 76-74-72—222 MC Wenyung Keh 76-71-76—223 MC Doey Choi 79-72-76—227

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