Herbert can’t wait to celebrate Dubai win at home

Three years ago, Lucas Herbert was presented with a 21st birthday a gift of a bottle of Johnnie Walker ‘Blue Label’ whisky.

There was a proviso, however, that Herbert was not allowed to open the whisky until he captured his first professional title.

Lucas Herbert Lucas Herbert (Credit: European Tour)

After three second place finishes, Herbert broke through for his maiden victory in sensational manner last week in capturing the 2020 Omega Dubai Desert Classic in a play-off from South African Christiaan Bezuidenhout.

And of all days to win your first professional victory, the 24-year old Bendigo-born Herbert achieved the feat on January 26th – Australia Day.

Herbert is this week competing in the second edition of the Saudi International and while he arrived at the host course located around a 75-minute drive north of Jeddah to be congratulated at almost turn, it was very much back to business on the opening day of the event.

“I managed to get a good sleep-in on Tuesday and Wednesday, and behaved a little bit while I was not going to come this week if I was just going to make up the numbers,” he said.

“So, the big thing I wanted to do was to turn up and be competitive and I am pleased to have done that this morning in shooting a three-under 67.”

“Winning in Dubai was my first on the European Tour and I arrived here in Saudi determined to give this week’s event a good shake.”

“I’ve got a lot of golf coming-up in these next two weeks so the last thing I want to do is get complacent and just to rest on my laurels with that one win, as I want to keep pushing on and I may not win again but nothing is going to stop me from trying.”

“The great thing also it’s been a fantastic reception from all the players, the caddies and Tour officials have all been so congratulatory and with everyone so happy for me.”

“My phone also has been pretty much in meltdown mode the last few days with my family, people who have helped me along the way, mates who I’ve known a long time and so many others ringing and texting me which has been so special.”

When Herbert entered the tournament media centre last Sunday night, he did so not embracing a can of Fosters, VB or a Crown Lager but a glass of white wine graciously handed to him by the organisers as he signed a large number of commemorative 18th hole flags, and then in being asked how he would celebrate he touched on a bottle of whisky he had in possession back home in Australia.

The young Aussie explained more about this bottle of whisky.

“For my 21st, my friends bought me a bottle of Blue Label Johnnie Walker but that I could not open it until I won my first tournament, so it took just over three years and that was the comment I made on Sunday about having a bottle of whisky to drink,” he said.

“I will be home next week for the Vic Open but the bottle is up in Queensland but I am sure we will do something.”