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Lucas Herbert finishes 3rd in Sicily

Herbert's stocks are rising (Photo: Henry Peters)
Australia’s Lucas Herbert finished just one shot from a playoff at the Rocco Forte Sicilian Open on the island of Sicily, a stunning final round of 63 sweeping him into a share of third place.

Playing the tournament on invite, Herbert began the day in 9th position and a birdie at the first and a bogey at the second hardly gave evidence of what was about to come.

The 22 year old Victorian would birdie eight of 15 holes from the 4th including three of the last four and when he had finished there was still an outside chance he could find himself in a playoff.

It was not to be as both the eventual winner Joakim Lagergren of Sweden and Frenchman Mike Lorenzo-Vera would finish one ahead but for Herbert it was further proof of the remarkable talent he is.

A cheque for €56,000 supplements Herbert's European Tour earnings of €67,000 from finishing 3rd at the World Super 6 Perth event and the €26,000 for his 7th place at the Australian PGA Championship.

Although not a full member of the European Tour and without full status, he is an affiliate member and his earnings have moved him to 79th in the Race to Dubai rankings. He also jumps 40 places to 141st in the world ranking.

He gets another chance this coming week with an invite already in place to the Belgian Knockout event in Antwerp.

Of the other Australians, Nick Cullen was 26th and Matthew Millar 58th.

Lagergren won his first European Tour event in 131 starts on the European Tour although he did lose a playoff for the Qatar Masters in 2017 and was a winner on the Challenge Tour in 2014.

"I've been waiting for this moment my whole career," said the winner who defeated Lorenzo-Vera with a textbook birdie at the first extra hole.

"I'm so relieved and I'm so happy at the moment, I can't describe it in words. I've just been fighting so hard to get to here, it's just awesome.

"When you're just missing out a few times you really want to get that first win and it feels like you really need to get over that first step to then really continue and get more and more. This is a big step for me, I've taken the first one now, I'll rock on from here."




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