Lucas Herbert – photo Bruce Young

A second round of 71 has Victorian, Lucas Herbert, in a share of 11th place at the halfway mark of the Dubai Desert Classic but being only four shots from the lead of Eddie Pepperell leaves the 24 year old very well placed ahead of the weekend in the US$3.25 million event.

Herbert’s most recent form has been well below his capabilities but there have been reasons for it and this represents a return to the level of golf he displayed when 7th in this event last year.

Ryan Fox and Jason Scrivener were the only other Australasians to make the weekend, Scrivener improving eight shots from his opening round of 77 to record a round of 69 to just scrape into the weekend field in what were demanding conditions on the Emirates Golf Club layout.

Fox also showed improvement in round two after and opening 76 to be on the cutline.

The leader, Pepperell, is ahead by one over Dean Burmester, Robert Karlsson and the defending champion Bryson DeChambeau.

Pepperell has missed the cut in each of his last two starts and has a very ordinary record in this event but said he has felt more comfortable this week.

“I felt more calm today, I would say. Actually, I would tend to feel more calm as the week goes on at most tournaments. I was happy with how I was feeling early and I got off to a nice start.

“For the most part it was very, very good until the cameras came along. I must have been concerned with how I was looking, because then I started struggling.”