09 Nov 2022 | Professional golf |

Aussies on Tour: Herbert’s high hope before coming home

by Australian Golf Media

Lucas Herbert.

By Tony Webeck

He is one of the Aussie summer of golf’s marquee attractions yet Lucas Herbert has unfinished business prior to his return home to Australia.

Herbert was back in Bendigo two weeks ago to serve as a groomsman at a mate’s wedding – a wedding that was subsequently postponed due to flooding – but is this week in South Africa to try to extend his DP World Tour season.

Before he tees it up at the Fortinet Australian PGA Championship at Royal Queensland, the 26-year-old wants to play his way into the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai and has set the bar high for how to get there.

Currently ranked No.63 in the DP World Tour rankings, Herbert needs to move inside the top 50 by the conclusion of this week’s Nedbank Golf Challenge to add another event to his schedule and knows the best way to achieve it.

“By my own maths, somewhere around the top 10 will be pretty close but a win would probably do it as well so that’s the main focus,” Herbert told Australian media this week.

“It’s been a bit of an up-and-down year. I had some good results – finished top-15 in two of the majors which I was really proud of – and played really nicely at some of the invitational events over in the States.

“First year on the PGA TOUR, all pretty much brand new courses that I’d never played before and competing against the best players in the world. It was a challenging year, but I felt like it was pretty good results given all the different circumstances around it.”

Herbert’s last appearance on Australian soil was his tie for 12th at the 2020 Vic Open.

That came two weeks after his maiden DP World Tour title in Dubai, adding a second at the Irish Open in 2021 along with a breakthrough PGA TOUR title.

He acknowledges that Cam Smith is the man to beat at both the Australian PGA Championship and Australian Open in the weeks to come but is ready to meet the challenge.

“Everyone else in the field will be looking at Cam as the guy they’ve got to beat,” Herbert admitted.

“It’s shaping up to be a really good summer of golf in Australia with the Aus Open and the Aus PGA basically getting all our best players back from overseas to come and play at two really good venues.

“I know Cam will be down there trying to win so he’s someone I would love to go up against coming down the back nine on Sunday at both of those events.”

As Herbert plots a path to the season finale, Kiwi Ryan Fox still harbours a desire to rein in DP World Tour No.1 Rory McIlroy over the coming two weeks while Min Woo Lee will be eager to improve his current position of 40th on the Order of Merit in South Africa.

As the 2022 season draws to a close, eight Aussies are hoping to earn a place on the 2023 DP World Tour at the Final Stage of Qualifying School in Spain.

Aaron Pike, Dimitrios Papadatos and Louis Dobbelaar were exempt into Final Stage courtesy of their finish on the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia Order of Merit while Jarryd Felton, Jordan Zunic, Hayden Hopewell and Kyle Michel all progressed at Second Stage last week.

Queenslander Maverick Antcliff is the eighth Aussie playing the six-round marathon after finishing 155th on the DP World Tour Order of Merit.

Jason Day is the lone Australian in the field for the PGA TOUR’s Cadence Bank Houston Open, there are nine teeing it up at the International Series Egypt event on the Asian Tour and 2007 champion Brendan Jones and Brad Kennedy are the Aussies contesting the Taiheiyo Masters in Japan.

Hannah Green leads the five Aussie women playing the LPGA Tour’s Pelican Women’s Championship in Florida and Rod Pampling is the only Australian to qualify for the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship on the Champions Tour.

Round 1 tee times AEDT

DP World Tour Nedbank Golf Challenge Gary Player CC, Sun City, South Africa 6pm      Min Woo Lee, Sam Horsfield, Richard Mansell 7.06pm*             Lucas Herbert, Scott Jamieson, Kalle Samooja 7.50pm Ryan Fox (NZ), Adrian Meronk, Tommy Fleetwood

Defending champion: Tommy Fleetwood (2019) Past Aussie winners: Marc Leishman (2016) Top Aussie prediction: Min Woo Lee TV times: Live 7.30pm-1am Thursday, Friday, Saturday; Live 6.30pm-12am Sunday on Fox Sports 505.

PGA TOUR Cadence Bank Houston Open Memorial Park Golf Course, Houston, Texas 11.51pm*           Danny Lee (NZ), Peter Malnati, Alex Noren 12.24am             Jason Day, Hideki Matsuyama, Sebastián Muñoz

Defending champion: Jason Kokrak Past Aussie winners: Bruce Devlin (1972), Bruce Crampton (1973, 1975), David Graham (1983), Stuart Appleby (1999, 2006), Robert Allenby (2000), Adam Scott (2007), Matt Jones (2014) Top Aussie prediction: Jason Day TV times: Featured Groups live from 12am Friday, Saturday on Fox Sports +; Live 5am-8am Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday on Fox Sports 505.

Asian Tour International Series Egypt Madinaty Golf Club, Egypt 3.30pm Cory Crawford, Sangchai Kaewcharoen, Shinichi Mizuno 3.30pm*             Todd Sinnott, Jaco Ahlers, Kosuke Hamamoto 3.50pm*             Travis Smyth, Phachara Khongwatmai, Chan Shih-chang 4.20pm*             Brett Rumford, Miguel Tabuena, Poom Saksansin 4.30pm Sam Brazel, Tanapat Pichaikool, Khalifa Mohamed Khalifa 8.05pm*             Kevin Yuan, Itthipat Buranatanyarat, Cole Madey 8.25pm Scott Hend, Angelo Que, Chase Koepka 8.45pm*             Jake Higginbottom, Doyeob Mun, Viraj Madappa 8.55pm Daniel Fox, Suradit Yongcharoenchai, S Chikkarangappa

Defending champion: Inaugural event Past Aussie winners: Nil Top Aussie prediction: Todd Sinnott TV times: Live from 8.30pm Thursday; Live from 8pm Friday, Saturday; Live from 7pm Sunday on Fox Sports +.

Japan Golf Tour Sumitomo Mitsui VISA Taiheiyo Masters Taiheiyo Club (Gotemba Cse), Shizuoka 10.50am             Michael Hendry (NZ), Hiroki Abe, Hirohiro Ichihara 11.05am*           Brendan Jones, Taiga Sugihara, Yuta Kinoshita 12.45pm*           Brad Kennedy, Kohei Okada (a), Akio Sadakata

Defending champion: Hideto Tanihara Past Aussie winners: Graham Marsh (1987), Roger Mackay (1991), Greg Norman (1993), Brendan Jones (2007) Top Aussie prediction: Brad Kennedy

Ladies European Tour Aramco Team Series Jeddah Royal Greens Golf and Country Club, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia Aussies in the field: Whitney Hillier

Defending champion: Pia Babnik Past Aussie winners: Nil Top Aussie prediction: Whitney Hillier TV times: Live 11pm-2am Thursday, Friday on Fox Sports 506; 4.30pm Sunday on Fox Sports +.

LPGA Tour Pelican Women’s Championship Pelican Golf Club, Belleair, Florida 10.55pm             Karis Davidson, Gerina Mendoza, Emily Kristine Pedersen 10.55pm*           Sarah Kemp, Jennifer Chang, Isi Gabsa 11.06pm             Stephanie Kyriacou, Brittany Lang, Yealimi Noh 3.42am Su Oh, Frida Kinhult, Ruixin Liu 4.15am*             Hannah GreenLydia Ko (NZ), Nelly Korda

Defending champion: Nelly Korda Past Aussie winners: Nil Top Aussie prediction: Hannah Green TV times: Live 2am-5am Friday, Saturday on Fox Sports 505; Live from 4.30am Sunday, Monday on Fox Sports +.

Champions Tour Charles Schwab Cup Championship Phoenix Country Club, Phoenix, Arizona Australasians in the field: Steven Alker (NZ), Rod Pampling Defending champion: Phil Mickelson (2020) Past Aussie winners: Nil Top Aussie prediction: Rod Pampling TV times: Live 8am-10.30am Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday on Fox Sports 505.

DP World Tour Qualifying School-Final Stage Lakes Course, Infinitum, Tarragona, Spain Aussies in the field: Aaron Pike, Dimitrios Papadatos, Jarryd Felton, Jordan Zunic, Maverick Antcliff, Louis Dobbelaar, Kyle Michel, Hayden Hopewell

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