Date: November 24, 2014
Author: Martin Blake @ The Australia GC

Herbert takes the long road

Lucas Herbert threatened to win the BetEasy Australian Masters as an amateur on Sunday; by today, he was at Carnarvon Golf Club in western Sydney trying to qualify for the Emirates Australian Open.

As tough a gig as it sounds, it was made worse by the fact that after he missed qualifying on Sunday, he was unable to find a flight and ended up making the 10-hour drive from Melbourne to Sydney for the privilege.

Organisers of the Australian Open qualifying, which concludes today, gave him a late tee time at Carnarvon.

Herbert, 18, one of the world's best amateurs, was offered a start in either the Masters or the Open, and chose the Masters. However Golf Australia, owner of the Open, told him that it would give him a start at The Australian this week if he finished top-10 in the Masters.

The plot thickened. Tied for fifth as he stood on the 18th tee at Metropolitan on Sunday, the teenager from Bendigo in northern Victoria stumbled with a double-bogey six that sent him plummeting to a tie for 11th in the Masters, missing the automatic spot in the Open.

Eight final spots in the Australian Open field will be allocated after qualifying at three venues around Sydney today.