Herbert began his day in the best possible fashion with an eagle at his opening hole and with birdies at his second and third holes he had established the momentum for his ‘best of the day’ round.
Herbert’s year in 2018 was spectacular given he started the year without European Tour status but playing on invite, and eventually performance, he played his way into the DP Dubai World Championship and ensured that in 2019 he would not be playing with the same insecurity.
He moved from 226th in the world to 83rd in the world in 2018 but it would seem greater heights are very much within reach and very soon.
So what sort of goals does Herbert himself have now given his meteoric rise over the last twelve months?
“Yeah, well, something like last year would be pretty good, and if we can improve on a few of those results, that would be great,” said Herbert.
“Obviously, I'm going to play in some bigger events this year. With locking up my card, I can now play the Rolex events, and that's going to bring a new challenge, playing against harder players for a lot more money.
“You know, five top 5s again, I'd be pretty happy with that with the schedule I've got. But if we just keep ticking off the right processes and keep improving, I can't go too far wrong.”
DeChambeau birdied his final two holes to catch Herbert who had finished his round 30 minutes earlier but interestingly he explained afterwards that his round was hardly an example of quality play.
“Man, you know, I thought after yesterday getting it around not making a bogey was awesome, but today even more impressive with three bogeys on the card, still shooting 6-under. I was happy about that.
“Unfortunately, again, just didn't have the right sensations and proprioception over shots. I just felt uncomfortable, unfortunately, on a lot of them, and consequently just am not ball-striking my best. But hey, shoot, I'm not complaining one bit. There's no complaining here for sure, so I'm happy.”
Herbert’s fellow Australian Jason Scrivener is nicely placed just two from the lead, his second consecutive round of 67 giving him a share of 5th place.
Scrivener finished 6th in this event last year and following his solid week in Abu Dhabi he has created the opportunity to do even better in 2019.
Scott Hend and Wade Ormsby are tied for 14th and four shots from the lead, while Sam Brazel was the other Australian to make the weekend in 56th place.
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