Date: September 22, 2018
Author: Martin Blake

Herbert, Luck edge toward career moments


On different sides of the world, two young Australians continued to edge toward significant career moments today. Curtis Luck and Lucas Herbert, 22, are tiptoeing towards playing rights in America and Europe for 2019.

Perth’s Luck went low again in the Tour Championship in Florida, carding 65 to go with an opening 67 to move into tied-sixth in that event.

Coming into the week ranked 16th of the 25 who will receive United States PGA Tour cards after this event, he has elevated himself to 14th on the projected rankings, although he will want to keep playing hard over the weekend.

The 2016 US amateur champion played a string of events on the main tour in 2017 but failed to secure his playing rights, sending him back to the secondary tour this year. But he has had an outstanding season.

In Portugal, Herbert had another great day with a 67 to go with his opening 63 in the Portugal Masters, holding a share of the lead through two rounds at 12-under par despite an incredible 59 by Oliver Fisher of England, the first sub-60 round in European Tour history.

Herbert, a former VIS graduate and national team member who originates from Bendigo in central Victoria, can secure a card for two years if he wins this week. But even if he does not, a strong finish will highly likely leave him in

Herbert eagled the par five fifth and birdied the 11th before doing well to save par after finding water on the 12th. Another gain on the 17th moved him alongside Fisher after a bogey-free effort.

“I would have liked to have probably taken a bit more advantage of those conditions but I'm still happy to be in the position that I am going into the weekend,” he said.

“The one thing lacking from the résumé at the moment is a win so if I can keep putting myself in a good position going into Sunday that would mean quite a lot – to get a win out here in Europe.”

Herbert began this week ranked 103rd on the points table for the tour needing to be in the top 110 by season’s end to secure a playing card. He is in Portugal this week on a sponsor’s exemption.

MEANWHILE in Atlanta, the Australian challenge at the PGA Tour’s season-ending Tour Championship floundered today and former world No. 1 Tiger Woods continued to push hard for his first win in five years.

Jason Day (20th), Marc Leishman (tied-21st) and Cameron Smith (24th) are all off the pace set by Woods, who birdied the last hole for a 68, and world No. 1 Justin Rose.