First big name Aussie golfer locked in for 2022 summer of golf tournaments

Lucas Herbert
Lucas Herbert celebrating his 2021 Irish Open victory

Lucas Herbert is the first of the current exciting crop of Australian golfers acing it on the international tours to sign up for the big down under events at the end of the year – the PGA Championship and Australian Open.

The Fortinet Australian PGA Championship will be at Royal Queensland from 24 to 27 November and the Australian Open at Victoria Golf Club and Kingston Heath in Melbourne from 1 to 4 December.

Herbert will be hoping to snag his first big championship in his native country after a string of successes overseas. The 26 year old Victorian finished T15 at the 150th Open Championship last weekend after a T13 at the US PGA Championship earlier in the year.

Herbert won the Omega Dubai Desert Classic in January 2020, was a wire to wire winner of the Irish Open in July 2021, was just a stroke off the winning score the following week at the Scottish Open, and won his first US PGA Tour event, the Butterfield Bermuda Championship last October.

He is hopefully the first of a procession of international stars to be announced for the two big iconic Aussie events, maybe even hopefully that guy with the mullet who won last week at St Andrews – and one’s mind is cast back to the triumphant home tour Adam Scott joyously conducted after winning the 2013 Masters.

Both Australian tournaments are co-sanctioned by the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia and the DP World Tour, formerly known as the European Tour, which is making a swing through Australia over the summer to launch its season. 

The Australian PGA Championship will be will be played at the 101-year-old Royal Queensland Golf Club

The Fortinet Australian PGA Championship has a prize pool of $2 million AUD, the richest prize on the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia, following a successful 2021 event that offered plenty of fun and action at Royal Queensland where the event will remain for at least the next two years. 

The Australian Open has a different look in 2022 after a two-year absence, with men’s and women’s Opens vying for a combined purse of $3.4 million AUD, as well as the Australian All Abilities Championship all being played at the same time on the same courses on the Melbourne Sandbelt.

World No. 52 Herbert said he had no hesitation about his decision to return home and play.

“I am definitely looking forward to the trip home,” he said, “I have been fortunate to spend most of the season in the United States and I certainly miss being home in Australia with my family and friends. I also really enjoy playing golf in Australia and am greatly looking forward to that as well.”

Despite Herbert’s overseas successes – and with a little unwanted help from ill fortune and the pandemic, he has not yet put a top-level Australian tournament on his curriculum vitae. His best result in the big events was tied-sixth in the Australian Open at The Australian in 2017, when he led through two rounds and ended up in the final group with Jason Day on the last day before succumbing to Cameron Davis.

The Victorian’s best golf has been played overseas, but that is something he aims to change. “It would mean the world to me,” he said. “Australian golf is so important to me and to be able to win at home is something I have always dreamed of doing – it is a huge goal of mine.” 

Gavin Kirkman, Chief Executive of the PGA of Australia, said: “This is great news about Lucas coming home again. He’s become a world-class player and we’re delighted with what he’s done on both the DP World Tour and the PGA Tour, winning on both continents. I have no doubt that the crowds will get behind him at Royal Queensland and in Melbourne. He’s great to watch and a terrific ambassador for our sport.”

James Sutherland, Chief Executive of Golf Australia, said: “Lucas is a great success story for golf in this country. He’s graduated from country Victoria to the state High Performance programs to become a really confident and competitive professional player with wins on both sides of the world. We’re pleased to see him coming back for the big events and we see this as only the beginning of what we hope to be a string of really positive announcements about the summer of golf in Australia.”

Victorian Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Steve Dimopolous said: “We can’t wait to welcome some of the world’s best golfers to some of the world’s best golf courses, right here in Victoria, Australia’s sporting capital.”

“Fans are in for the ultimate golfing spectacle as the Men’s and Women’s Australian Opens are played side by side, a world first for the sport.”

Queensland Tourism and Sport Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said after a huge weekend for Australian golf, fans will be looking to the Royal Queensland Golf Club for a world-class line-up of golfers.

“As one of the world’s best on the fairway, Lucas Herbert’s appearance at the Australian PGA makes Brisbane the perfect getaway destination for Australian golf fans this November,” Mr Hinchliffe said 

“It’s exciting to have Australia’s Lucas Herbert confirmed as one of the first of many great golfers to lock in an appearance at the Australian PGA.

“I know many fans also have their fingers crossed for a certain world No. 2  from Queensland to make a triumphant return to Brisbane for an Australian PGA homecoming at the Royal Queensland.

“For golfing fans, November’s Australian PGA is a great opportunity to stay longer and explore Brisbane’s many world-class visitor experiences.”

Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner said after Australia’s incredible feats at the British Open, it was fantastic to lock in ?high profile player Lucas Herbert.

“From Cam Smith’s legendary win at the Open to Lucas’ outstanding placing of 15th, our Aussies are on fire ahead of the PGA Championship in Brisbane this November,” he said.

“With the world’s greatest golfers swinging into the city, we are expecting 40,000 spectators for the Championship, delivering a $16 million economic benefit that will flow into businesses and bolster our local economy.”

The Fortinet Australian PGA Championship is proudly supported by the Queensland Government, through Tourism and Events Queensland and Brisbane City Council, through Brisbane Economic Development Agency. Tickets, Hospitality and VIP Experiences are on sale via Ticketek now. 

The Australian Open is proudly supported by the Victorian Government through Visit Victoria. Tickets, Hospitality and VIP Experiences are on sale via Ticketek now. 

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here