02 Jul 2021 | Professional golf |
Herbert's 64 leads Irish Open
By European Tour Media
Australia's Lucas Herbert carded a 64 to take a one shot lead after a low scoring first day of the 2021 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open. Herbert set the target from just the second group of the day at Mount Juliet Estate and while a host of Ryder Cup stars set about chasing him down, nobody could better his eight under par total. American Johannes Veerman made a late charge in the evening to get to seven under, a shot clear of Scotland's Grant Forrest. Ryder Cuppers Nicolas Colsaerts, Tommy Fleetwood, Martin Kaymer, Thorbjørn Olesen and Andy Sullivan were then all part of a 15 strong group at five under, with 55 players within five shots of the lead including Perth's Jason Scrivener (67) and Min Woo Lee (68). Herbert claimed a maiden victory at the 2020 Omega Dubai Desert Classic but has had just two top tens since, including at this event last season. But his 64 in County Kilkenny was his lowest European Tour round since September 2019, and he enjoyed playing in a two ball with Laurie Canter after the withdrawals of Victor Dubuisson and Kristoffer Broberg. "Made a really long one on 18 for birdie and that kind of sparked things and got things going," he said. "Was able to play really nice that last nine holes. "I felt like I was trying to get to five or six under and I didn't really want to try and just attack really, really hard. It was just try and hit the ball in the right spots, give yourself some looks on the greens and I felt like if I could get to five or six under that would be a really good day. "A few more rolled in and I got to eight. "It's a little bit tight in spots as well where you're not taking driver and just sending it. You have to play to some positions. Herbert took advantage of the par-five 10th but gave the shot straight back before hitting a smart approach into the 15th, making a two putt birdie after leaving himself ten feet for eagle on the 17th and holing from nearly 30 feet on the next. A 15-footer on the third was followed by another two-putt gain on the fifth and a nice approach into the seventh before he completed the set of birdies on the par fives at the eighth. A 15-foot putt on the ninth then left him three shots ahead but Forrest trimmed the gap.
MEANWHILE New South Welshman Blake Windred leads the Kaskada Golf Challenge on the Challenge Tour in Europe.
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