03 Jul 2021 | Professional golf |
Herbert's Irish exhibition
By European Tour Media
Lucas Herbert will take a two shot lead into the weekend at Mount Juliet Estate after a stunning run of scoring around the turn sent him back to the top of the leaderboard on day two of the 2021 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open.
The Australian had taken advantage of the low winds and fresh greens early on day one to post a 64 but soon found himself three behind going out in the afternoon during round two. He then picked up five shots in six holes from the eighth en route to a 67 that left him at 13 under. Scot Grant Forrest and England's Andy Sullivan were the nearest challengers, a shot clear of another Englishman in Dale Whitnell. Herbert claimed his maiden European Tour win at last season's Omega Dubai Desert Classic and also secured a top ten at this event, having made the cut on his debut in 2019. After a quiet spell, he recently scored two top 20s on the US PGA Tour and was pleased with his battling display in County Kilkenny.
"It was a little frustrating but I also felt like I did pretty well to scrap 67 out of that," he said. "I holed some really nice putts and then missed some where I probably thought that was a good chance to make. "The double on three didn't help as well so for a round that hopefully is not one of the better ones of the week, I felt like I did really well to get a lot out of it and put myself into a very good position going into the weekend. "I think it's definitely something that comes with a win where you know you've proved to yourself that you can win, you can hit shots under pressure and actually win. So I'll be taking a lot of experience from that into the weekend and try and draw on that confidence as well." Herbert birdied the first but then found the water on the third to surrender a double bogey and found himself three back. A two putt on the fifth and up-and-down on the eighth saw him take advantage of the two par fives on the front nine and a smart pitch on the ninth meant he was back in a share at the turn. An up-and-down from the sand on the tenth edged him in front and he then hit an excellent approach into the 12th and holed a 20 footer on the next to lead by three and make it five birdies in six holes.
He missed the green on the par three 14th for a bogey but two putts from 80 feet on the 17th handed him the shot back.
SYDNEY'S Cam Davis shot a second straight 68 in the Rocket Mortgage Classic on the US PGA Tour to be inside the top 10 entering the weekend.
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