Can Hebert cut it this time?

8/29/2011 1:40:48 PM
Benjamin Hebert  (EuropeanTour)
Benjamin Hebert (EuropeanTour)

Benjamin Hebert will relish having a second chance on The European Tour so quickly after the disappointment of last season, and he will be high on confidence after three victories on the Challenge Tour propelled him back to the big stage.

The Frenchman clinched a one shot victory in the Rolex Trophy, completing a hat-trick of wins which began only six weeks ago. What makes it even more remarkable is that he missed six consecutive cuts in the run-up to the Credit Suisse Challenge, but his season exploded into life in Switzerland with an impressive four shot win.

The next week he was at it again, claiming the English Challenge title by two strokes, and there followed a two-week break on the Challenge Tour schedule during which time he “relaxed on the beach at home in Moliets, surfing and celebrating his double victory with friends and playing no golf”.

Modest performances followed over the next fortnight – although he made the cut in both events – but he tapped into that rich vein of form again for the Rolex Trophy to post rounds of 66, 65, 71 and 67 to win by one.

Three wins in five events is a stunning return by anyone’s standards, and Hebert will head to The European Tour brimming with confidence. Instead of going to the €400,000 Kazakhstan Open and Russia the following week he will be playing for far more lucrative purses.

“I’m very tired and feel like I need a rest, so I’m not sure whether I’m going to play in the Omega European Masters next week,” he said. “I might have a week off and then play in the KLM Open the following week.”

He has a point to prove after his debut campaign on The European Tour in 2010 culminated in him finishing 142nd in The Race to Dubai, with his best performance coming in the Vivendi Cup, where he was 25th.

He had earned his card through the 2009 Qualifying School, benefitting from advice from his countryman Thomas Levet on how to master the venue for the final stage, the PGA Golf Catalunya in Spain, and it paid off as he took the 11th card at the end of the marathon six-round event.

Inspired by Sergio Garcia and Rory McIlroy, whom he partnered in the Lytham Trophy, Hebert won the 2007 Amateur Championship and a place in The 137th Open Championship.

The 24 year old says he will contact Levet again now he’s secured a return to the top tier, and if he can maintain this sort of form he have a great chance to stay there longer than a solitary season.