06 May 2021 | Professional golf |
Herbert's big US chance
by PGA of Australia
By Tony Webeck, PGA Australia
Victorian Lucas Herbert will take another step towards a permanent move to the PGA TOUR after qualifying for this week’s Wells Fargo Championship at the Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte. A winner on the European Tour last January, Herbert’s rise in the Official World Golf Rankings the past 18 months has opened the doors to play more Major tournaments, appear in World Golf Championship events and earn starts on the PGA TOUR. Currently No.94 in the world rankings, this will be Herbert’s third start on the PGA TOUR for 2021 – he also played the WGC-Workday Championship in Florida – but he had to play his way into the tournament, a round of 5-under 65 enough to earn one of four spots on offer at Monday qualifying conducted at Gaston Country Club. Two-under at the turn, Herbert picked up birdies at 10, 11, 13 and 15 to climb towards the top of the leaderboard, a bogey at the final hole providing for a nervous wait before his score was confirmed as the third best of the day. Fellow Victorian Steve Allan wasn’t quite so fortunate, finishing one shot out of the playoff for the fourth and final spot with Mathew Goggin and Greg Chalmers also missing out. The addition of Herbert takes the number of Aussies in the field at Quail Hollow to five with Jason Day and Matt Jones to make their first appearances since The Masters along with Cameron Percy and Cameron Davis, Day returning to the site of his most recent PGA TOUR win three years ago. Queensland Open champion Andrew Evans and veteran West Australian Scott Strange have bolstered the Aussie contingent on the Japan Golf Tour this week to nine, making their first starts of the season at the Japan Players Championship starting Thursday morning. Hannah Green will be eager to bounce back from her heartbreaking finish at the HSBC Women’s World Championship at the Honda LPGA Thailand while Rod Pampling, Stephen Leaney, David McKenzie and John Senden will contest the Champions Tour’s first major of the year, the Regions Tradition in Alabama. All told there are 36 Aussies in action across eight tours this week.
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