Herbert seals Open berth

Lucas Herbert

The rise and rise of Lucas Herbert continued at great speed again today when he qualified for the Open Championship at the Singapore Open.

Herbert, 22, fired a closing 71 at the Sentosa Golf Club’s Serapong Course to finish in a tie for eighth, eight shots behind Spanish champion Sergio Garcia.

But the six under total proved absolutely critical.

Herbert, of Bendigo in central Victoria, was locked with three other players on 278, with Asian Tour order of merit champ Gavin Green among them.

But vitally, with one spot remaining unfilled in the Open Qualifying Series with three non-exempt players above him and four spots on offer, Herbert was the highest of the others on six under on the world rankings.

This countback system ensures he’s off to Carnoustie, Scotland, for the 147th Open in mid-July, for his major championship debut.

“I’m so excited to be heading to The Open - a dream come true,” Herbert said.

“I used to pretend growing up at Neangar Park that I was putting for the Claret Jug, now I’ll get my chance.

“It’s been a big summer, but now I’ve got an even bigger winter ahead - I’m pumped.”

Herbert has become a fixture at the top of leaderboards around the ISPS Handa PGA Tour of Australasia in the past 18 months with several prominent finishes in his second year as a professional, perhaps most notably playing twice with Jason Day in the final group of the Australian Open in November before finishing T6.

“I played Carnoustie at The Amateur Championship, so I’ve seen the course in tournament conditions. It’s really tough, but I took away a lot experience of playing there and I’ll look to draw upon that.

“I remember watching Padraig Harrington winning The Open after the playoff and Sergio just missing that putt just before. Those were my first memories of watching The Open.”

And in more great news for the emerging Australian generation, Herbert joined Australian Open champ Cameron Davis in the top 10 in Singapore.

The big Sydneysider was consistent all week and closed with a 70 to finish at seven under in a share of sixth. His win in Sydney had already earnt him an Open exemption.

Brendan Jones was the next best Australian at even par in a share of 33rd, while Matt Griffin was T49 at three over, a shot better than David Bransdon.

Marcus Fraser, at eight over, was the other Aussie to make the cut.

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