A 2-under third round of 69 at the KLM Open moved the former top amateur 19 places up the leaderboard overnight and he will begin Sunday’s final round sharing 31st place.
Starting the year with no status outside Australia, Herbert has impressed by earning privileges to both the PGA Tour China and PGA Tour Canada but it is his efforts in Europe which stand out.
He has parlayed several tournament invites into good finishes to earn more starts and with four full field events remaining for the season sits 105th on the Race to Dubai.
The top 111 finishers are guaranteed full rights next season and a good final round may cement Herbert’s position among their number.
His best of the week came Saturday with an eagle and two birdies against two dropped shots and while victory may be unlikely as he trails tournament leader Chris Wood by nine a top 20 finish is undoubtedly achievable.
Herbert was one of seven Australasians to make the cut at The Dutch, Sam Brazel and New Zealand’s Josh Geary best placed after three rounds at 5-under and T27.
2017September 15, 2018
The innovarive 'Beat The Pro' competition continues to be popular on th European Tour
Herbert is alongside Wade Ormsby at 4-under with Jason Scrivener one further back and T39.
Andrew Dodt, who played his way into the top 10 with a 66 on Friday, started strong with three birdies to the turn but endured a horror back nine dropping six shots to finish 3-over for the day.
A triple bogey seven at the par-4 12th derailed his round and he followed with a double three holes later and finished with a bogey at the 18th to fall 34 places to T43.
At 2-under total he is the last of the Australians in red figures, Adam Bland also faltering on the back nine with 44 to slip to 2-over for the week and ahead of only two players in the field.
At the top of the standings Wood has shown a liking for this layout previously and after stumbling late in Friday’s second round made amends with a blistering back nine Saturday to grab a one shot lead.
Home in 5-under 31, the 31-year-old is seeking a fourth European Tour victory but says he has had to adjust his goal from early in the week.
“I'm pleasantly surprised,” he said of his play so far.
“I finished poorly last night and as I alluded to, I'm making a couple of quite big swing changes at the moment.
“My target was 15 under for the tournament so I'm going to look a little bit differently at that now. I'll take another 65 tomorrow if you offer it me now.”
Wood’s closest pursuers are 36-hole leader Ashun Wu as well as Japan’s Hideto Tanihara and England’s Jonathan Thompson.
signature holes - 7th at newcastle gc, nsw
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