25 Aug 2021 | Professional golf |

Herbert's travel fail is every golfer's worst nightmare

by PGA of Australia

Lucas Herbert travelled to the wrong city of Columbus.

By Tony Webeck

You could forgive Lucas Herbert for having his head in the clouds.

Hours earlier the 25-year-old Victorian had watched a birdie putt on the 72nd hole of the Albertsons Boise Open fall into the right side of the cup to fulfil a lifelong dream of earning a PGA Tour card, a putt he suspects got some assistance from the other “big fella” upstairs, Jarrod Lyle.

Initially he didn’t think it was enough. Communication on social media channels suggested it was, but then a release by the PGA Tour used the word “likely” often enough to make him second guess himself again.

That’s the weird thing about the Korn Ferry Tour Finals. For those who qualify for the three-event series, one good result can deliver a professional golfer’s best possible outcome.

Herbert’s tie for fourth essentially did just that but he still had to get from Boise, Idaho to the next event, this week’s Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio to further improve his status for the 2021/2022 PGA Tour season.

Only there were no direct flights from Boise, Idaho to Columbus, Ohio.

With caddie Nick Pugh and trainer Luke Thomas in tow, Herbert first flew from Boise to Dallas to take a connecting flight that would then transport them to Columbus and the Scarlet Course at Ohio State University Golf Club.

In hindsight there were indicators that something was amiss but it wasn’t until the trio landed and collected their bags that their mistake became apparent.

“We all fly in, grab our bags and we go to the rental car desk to get our car. I had the Avis app and it was telling me that the car was there but something wasn’t matching up,” Herbert told this week’s episode of Inside The Ropes podcast.

“I was thinking maybe there were two airports and we were at the wrong one. Then I look at Google Maps and not only am I at the wrong airport but I’m at the wrong city.

“We’ve booked flights to Columbus, Georgia,” adds Herbert, a blunder that would necessitate an additional three-hour flight first thing Tuesday morning.

“We got through the entire process of checking in, got our boarding passes, got on the plane and it was not until we got to the airport and looked at our location on Google Maps did we realise, We’re in the wrong state.

“If that putt hadn’t gone in on Sunday we probably would have got much angrier but we just sat there for 15 minutes laughing at each other and thinking, How stupid are we?

“We all had moments where we thought, This is weird, but no one put two-and-two together.

“We got on the plane – which wasn’t very big – and there weren’t a lot of people on it. We walked into the airport when we landed and were thinking, This is not the terminal we flew into last time.

“There were a lot of moments when we looked back on it thought, Yeah, that makes more sense.”

For the full interview with Lucas Herbert and a chat with Golf Australia’s Senior Manager for Programs and Inclusion Christian Hamilton on golf’s prospects of joining the Paralympics in 2028 click here

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