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Hot Finish Has Herbert On Pace For 2019 Card

Lucas Herbert is all but assured of playing in Europe next year after a brilliant finish at the Nordea Masters (Photo: Henry Peters)
Rising Victorian star Lucas Herbert has produced a scintillating back nine of 29 to parlay an invitation to the Nordea Maters into an all but guaranteed 2019 European Tour card.

The 22-year-old, who began the year with no status on any Tour outside Australia, was 6-under for his final seven holes to jump to outright fifth and pick up a cheque for €63,600.

The finish not only guarantees him a start at this week’s Czech Masters but also moves him to 98th on the Race to Dubai, the top 110 earning playing privileges for next year.

Having earned cards at both the PGA Tour Canada and PGA Tour China Q-Schools earlier in the year Herbert now looks set to join the world’s second biggest circuit courtesy of some strong play throughout the year.

Relying mostly on sponsor’s invitations Herbert has made 10 starts for the year since leaving Australia in February and has missed just three cuts in those events.

He was again teeing up on an invite this week in Sweden and played nicely over the first three days to head to Sunday sharing sixth place .

However, he struggled to make headway on the opening nine with eight straight pars to start before dropping a shot at the ninth.

Another bogey at the 11th saw him 2-over for the day and slipping down the leaderboard but the fireworks began with an eagle two at the short par-4 12th.

Jolted into action, Herbert birdied four of his next six holes to jump to fifth alone and with just eight full field events left in the season he is all but assured of locking up a spot on the Tour next year.

The top five result also earns him another start at this week’s Czech Masters where he will have an excellent opportunity to consolidate his position.

South Australia’s Adam Bland, who started the day tied with Herbert, fired an even par 70 to finish T13, one of his best results in Europe this season.

Bland is 103rd on the Race to Dubai in his rookie season on the European circuit and, like Herbert, will be keen to consolidate that position in the coming weeks.

At the top of the leaderboard England’s Paul Waring outduelled South Africa’s Thomas Aiken in extra time at The Hills Golf Club in Gothenburg.

The pair had started the final round sharing the lead and three shots clear of their nearest rivals.

Both signed for 2-under scores of 68 and Waring, playing his 200th European Tour event, prevailed in sudden death when Aiken found water off the tee.

It was the Englishman’s maiden victory in a career that has been hampered by injury.

“I'm ecstatic,” he said aftee the drama of the afternoon.

“I wasn't ever sure this day would come in total honesty. I've tried so hard for many years to get to this point and it's nice to finally cross the line and be holding the trophy.

“It feels like it's all worth it. I've had a couple of operations along the way and it's nice to finally have got to this point.

“I'm sure that everyone back home will be absolutely thrilled for me. This is all for everyone back home as well.”

SIGNATURE HOLES - 3RD AT NAROOMA GC, NSW:

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