Min Woo Lee one of three Australians with realistic chances – photo European Tour
Australian golf is poised for a possible second consecutive European Tour title just seven days after Lucas Herbert captured the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open.
Herbert is again leading the charge following his round of the day 64 on day three of the abrdn Scottish Open at the Renaissance Club in North Berwick.
The 25 year old Victorian is now within two of the lead held by Thomas Detry and Matthew Fitzpatrick and one behind the world number one Jon Rahm after a round of six birdies and an eagle overcame an early bogey to jump from 23rd overnight to 4th alone.
Herbert is, though, not on his own as far as Australian chances are concerned.
Perth’s, Min Woo Lee, and South Australian, Wade Ormsby, are just one shot behind Herbert and tied for 5th, their respective rounds of 65 and 66 having them not only in with a chance for the title but a great chance of securing one of the Open Championship starts available for the leading three players this week and not otherwise exempt for next week.
The Australians, though, not only have to get past the current leaders, they also have the world number one sitting just one off the lead so they have a big task ahead of them but the opportunity of an Open start is a great consolation prize and incentive if they are unable to bridge the gap between them and the leaders.
Herbert already has an start at Royal St Georges next week so he can focus his full attention of claiming a second successive European tour title but for Lee and Ormsby it is a big day even if they can’t win the event.
Herbert was delighted that his powerful, eagle, birdie, birdie finish swept him into contention.
“It was a funny one, I didn’t feel like there was much going on out there. I felt like I was almost cruising in third gear and couldn’t quite get things to happen,” he said. “I was watching the boards and everyone seems to be making a bit of a move, and then finish birdie, birdie, right in the tournament and pretty pleasing to finish like that.”
Herbert also puts his decision to take it easy early in the week after his win last Sunday as another factor in his round today.
“Last week was brutal, just trying to sleep and function off the golf course with the lead and once you get on the course it was another beast. I didn’t really do a hell of a lot Monday, Tuesday. I took it very, very easy, and it would have been pretty easy to kind of look at that and feel like I was under prepared, but then I think it was the perfect preparation for me.
“I feel like the last two days I’ve been cruising out there and not sort of racking off the tee like it would be very easy to do, especially this is my third week on the road.
“So yeah, it’s nice to feel like I made the right decision earlier in the week and it’s nice to get back up near the lead.”
Matthew Fitzpatrick – one of the leaders – photo European Tour