Lucas Herbert during today’s second round – photo Getty Images
Australians Lucas Herbert and Stephanie Kyriacou have retained the lead in their respective events on the European and Ladies European Tours.
Herbert added a second round of 67 at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Mount Juliet Estate, Thomastown in Co Kilkenny and at the halfway stage leads by two over Scotland’s Grant Forrest and Englishman Andy Sullivan in the €3 million ($A4.75 million) event.
Herbert’s round consisted of eight birdies but a double bogey at his third hole had him on the back foot early and he did well to fashion his 5 under par round.
“It was a little frustrating but also felt like I did pretty well to scrap 67 out of that,” said the 25 year old Victorian, who, by finishing inside the top three this week and not already exempt to the Open Championship in two weeks’ time, will earn a start at Royal St Georges.
“ Yeah, I holed some really nice putts and missed some that I thought were good chances to make; obviously the double on three.
“For a round that hopefully is not the better one of the week, I felt like I did really well to get a lot out of it and put myself into a very good position going into the weekend.
“I think it’s definitely something that comes with a win where you know you’ve proved to yourself that you can win, you can hit shots under pressure and actually win. So I’ll be taking a lot of experience from that into the weekend and try and draw on that confidence, as well.”
The win Herbert was referring to is his win at the Dubai Desert Classic in early 2019, his only win to date in a professional career littered by top three finishes.
Herbert’s fellow Australians, Perth’s Min Woo Lee and Jason Scrivener are also nicely place in a share of 9th place at 8 under and five behind Herbert’s lead.
Queensland’s Maverick Antcliff also made the cut but is well back in 58th place.
In the Czech Republic, Sydney’s Stephanie Kyriacou added a third round of 65 at the Big Green Egg Open to retain a share of the lead with her co 36 hole leader Finland’s Sana Nuutien, the pair drawing four shots clear of the third placed Atthaya Thitikul; of Thailand.
Kyriacou had a two-shot lead with two to play but a two-shot swing when the Australian bogeyed the par 5 17th saw the two draw level.
Kyriacou, the 2020 Rookie of the Year on the Ladies European Tour, is chasing her first professional win although her second on the LET Tour having won the Bonville Classic in Australia as an amateur before turning professional.
“I was having fun out there; I was holing some long putts which is always enjoyable,” said the 20 year old.
“I am pretty excited, we both played really well so it was anyone’s game the whole day. It will be interesting tomorrow. I haven’t thought about what it would mean but it would be great to get my first professional win.”
Stephanie Kyriacou – photo Ladies European Tour (Tristan Jones)