Herbert secures PGA Tour future with Bermuda win
Lucas Herbert has become the latest Aussie to win on the lucrative PGA Tour, brilliantly capturing the Butterfield Bermuda Championship in brutal conditions.
Trailing three shots from the lead heading into the final round, Herbert closed out a third pro career success with a final round 69 to win by a shot at 15-under par on the Port Royal course.
Masters champion Patrick Reed had set the clubhouse mark at 14-under par thanks to a rousing 65 to finish joint second alongside Kiwi Danny Lee, who signed for a level par 71.
Lee’s effort sees him secure full 2021/22 PGA Tour membership given he was playing on a ‘Minor Medical Exemption’.
Herbert, 25, had played in 17 prior PGA Tour affiliated events including this year’s Open Championship by virtue of winning the Irish Open, although he had already secured full membership rights a few months back in the first event of the three-tournament Korn Ferry Finals series.
Lucas Herbert (Credit: PGA Tour)
“I mean, it’s pretty unbelievable. Just so hard out there today and I just, it was one of those ones you couldn’t even let yourself kind of get ahead and think that you’ve won the tournament early because conditions were just so brutal that you could have hit a shot anywhere at any time offline and it was just, it was just good to survive I guess is probably the way to describe it”, he said.
The win earned the Bendigo-born Herbert a $US1.17m plus first prize cheque, a two-year Tour exemption to the end of 2023 along with a first invitation into next year’s Masters.
However, the new World No. 43, up 14 places from last week’s ranking of No. 57, is not about to get carried away with the spoils of his latest victory as he explained to me via a dodgy Zoom hook-up soon after his win.
“I mean, the next 12 months are going to be really cool”, he said. “I’ve never played Augusta, so being able to play the Masters is going to be pretty cool. Getting to play in — we just talked about Kapalua, getting to play in a few of these events that I’ve watched growing up on TV, it’s just going to be a cool experience. No matter how I play, it’s just going to be phenomenal to play in those tournaments. It’s going to be lots of fun.”
“I think the next few days we’ll sit back and think and celebrate and then, yeah, reset some plans going forward as to what our goals are going to be and how we want to play in some of these awesome tournaments that we’re going to get into.”
There’s also the question of selection later next year in the Presidents Cup with Herbert set to put himself well-up the standings ahead of the 23rd September start to the event at Quail Hollow in Charlotte.
“Yeah, I think we’ve seen probably three of the guys that have got a good chance of making that team playing out there today, Taylor, myself and Danny,” said Herbert.
“I mean, I would love to be a part of the team, don’t get me wrong, but I feel like there’s a lot of good players that are probably ahead of me at the moment, whether it be in the standings or whether it be in their actual games.”
Herbert moves to 5th on the FedExCup points table alongside Rory McIlroy (CJ Cup) who, along with Sungjae Im (Shriners Children’s Open) and Hideki Matsuyama (ZOZO Championship), makes it four international wins in a row on the PGA Tour.
The 25-year-old also becomes the first Aussie since 2008 to win individual titles on both the European Tour and PGA Tour in the same year. Adam Scott was the last male to achieve the feat winning both the Qatar Masters and the AT&T Byron Nelson.
Korn Ferry stablemate, Brett Drewitt, finished next best of the Aussies in Bermuda with a share of 39th place following a disappointing final round of 73. John Senden was the only other Australian to make it through to the weekend in share of 67th.
Cameron Percy and Greg Chalmers missed the cut.
The Tour now heads to Mexico for the $7.2 million World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba.