05 Oct 2020 | Professional golf |
Stunning Herbert falls just short
by Martin Blake
Lucas Herbert threw everything he had at the Scottish Open in the final round, but came up just short. However the young Australian, just 24, continues to push toward the top of the European Tour points list as his breakout season gathers pace. Herbert shot a remarkable, closing 65 at the Renaissance Club on Sunday to finish tied-fourth, and held the lead throughout a stretch of his final round. In fact, after he made five birdies in his first eight holes, including a chip-in at the par-four eighth, he was threatening to unseat those in front of him. He had come from six shots back. At the par-five 10th he hit his second shot on the green and two-putted for a birdie that put him in the outright lead, but the swoopers came later. At the par-three 12th he missed the green right and made bogey, before a long birdie putt that dropped at the 15th brought a Herbert fist pump. Once again, he had a share of the lead, and that continued when he two-putted for another birdie at the par-five 16th. Herbert always knew that the leading players had time to reel him in, and at the par-three 17th he slipped up, pulling his tee shot left and giving back a shot. At 18, he needed birdie to have any chance, and his long putt stopped a couple of rolls short of the cup. He signed for seven-under 65 with nine birdies, posted nine-under, and soon realised that it would not be enough. The 264,000 Euro was a nice consolation prize. With hindsight, he almost certainly would have won the tournament had he not struggled in the dreadful Saturday conditions, when he shot 79. Ultimately, he was only two shots back from the winner, England's Aaron Rai, who beat Tommy Fleetwood in a playoff after they both posted 11-under. But Herbert was ranked 78th in the world going into this week and he will push closer to the top 50 after this result, a number that would give him walk-up starts in the majors including a potential berth at the Masters in December. There is a lot to play for. Not only that, he is ranked seventh on the European Tour's Race to Dubai with its huge carrot of the tour championship and its lucrative bonus pool. South Australian Wade Ormsby had a disappointing final day in Scotland, playing in the final group but sliding to finish tied-19th after a closing 73.
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