Australia’s Herbert Completes Wire-To-Wire Win At Irish Open

THOMASTOWN, Ireland (AP) — Australian golfer Lucas Herbert completed a wire-to-wire victory at the Irish Open, shooting 4-under 68 in the final round to win by three strokes and also secure a place at the British Open.

It was Herbert’s second title on the European Tour, after the Dubai Desert Classic in January 2020.

Starting the last round with a one-shot advantage, Herbert briefly lost the outright lead when he was joined by Francesco Laporta after the Spanish player’s stunning run of six-straight birdies from No. 5.

Herbert then found himself tied for the lead on 17 under with American playing partner Johannes Veerman, who holed a long right-to-left putt on No. 14.

The Australian moved clear again with a birdie at the 15th, and took a two-stroke lead when he got up and down for par from one greenside bunker while Veerman made bogey from another.

Herbert walked down the last with a three-shot lead — and with spectators behind him holding up umbrellas in the rain — after a tap-in birdie at the par-5 17th. He punched the air with joy after rolling in a 10-foot par putt at No. 18 to finish on 19-under 269.

“It’s an unbelievable feeling,” Herbert said. “It’s a bit fulfilling. I was at a low point in my life two years ago here and I have gone full swing and won the event. It’s pretty satisfying.”

The 350th-ranked Veerman bogeyed the last, his par putt lipping out, to drop into third place behind Rikard Karlberg, a Swedish player ranked 611th in the world who chipped in at the last for birdie and a 67.

Karlberg and Veerman also clinched Open spots along with Herbert, as the three top finishers who were not previously exempt. The world’s oldest major starts at July 15 at Royal St. George’s.

Herbert is projected to jump to No. 54 in the world.