Irish Open champ Herbert looks to have secured PGA Tour membership

Bernie McGuire
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Irish Open champ Herbert looks to have secured PGA Tour membership

Lucas Herbert with his caddie Nick Pugh after winning the Irish Open trophy (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

Reigning Irish Open champ Lucas Herbert looks to have all but secured his 2021/22 season PGA Tour card with his share of fourth-place finish at Sunday’s concluding Albertsons Boise Open in Idaho.

The Aussie posted a final-round five-under-par 66 to fall two shots shy of forcing a play-off with American winner Greyson Sigg, who finished 19-under for the tournament. A closing par at the 18th was enough for Sigg to clinch his second Korn Ferry Tour title with playing partner England’s Aaron Rai and J.J. Spaun a stroke back at 18-under 265. Rai came to the final hole with a one-stroke lead but a double bogey at the last allowed Sigg the win at Hillcrest Country Club.

The Boise Open was the first of three Korn Ferry Tour Finals, with the top-25 at the end of the post-season series to gain full playing rights for the start of the new season next month.

The Mt. Juliet winning Herbert headed into day four in a share of 12th place and posted eight birdies, including four over his closing five holes for his 17-under par tally.

“I am just thrilled,” said Herbert, who captured the Irish Open by three shots.

And Herbert’s superb effort in Idaho came just a day after what would have been fellow Victorian-born Jarrod Lyle’s 40th birthday. Herbert is a ‘Challenge’ ambassador and proudly sported his Leuk the Duck head cover both at Mt. Juliet and last week at the host Hillcrest Country Club in Boise.

While the top-3 finishers have wrapped-up their PGA Tour card, PGA Tour officials were saying Herbert’s joint fourth will “most likely” be enough for the Aussie to gain his 2021-22 card to the world’s most lucrative tour.

The 25-year-old is currently the fourth highest-ranked Aussie at No. 48 player behind Cameron Smith, Adam Scott and Marc Leishman.

Rai had defeated Tommy Fleetwood in a playoff at the 2020 Scottish Open.He entered the week No. 100 in the world and despite the disappointing finish, Rai secured his first PGA TOUR card with a top-five finish.

“It definitely hasn’t set in yet,” said Rai. “When I was playing, I was obviously just focusing on the win. And the overriding emotion right now is disappointment after finishing that way. It was very tough. But to have status on the PGA Tour after the first event of the Finals is incredible really if I take a step back.”

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