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Herbert ready to carry home hopes in Victoria

Herbert ready to carry home hopes in Victoria

Lucas Herbert insists he is all about business this week as he prepares to tee it up on home soil for the first time as a European Tour winner at the 2020 ISPS Handa Vic Open.

Lucas Herbert reacts after playing a chip shot

The Victoria native claimed a dramatic maiden victory at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic two weeks ago, beating Christiaan Bezuidenhout in a play-off to add his name to a list of impressive winners on the Desert Swing.

After that victory, he spoke of how a bottle of Scotch was waiting for him back at home to toast his first trophy but it appears that will not be getting opened just yet.

Herbert knows the extra pressure that comes with being a home favourite and star attraction, and he insists his focus will be all on the course at 13th Beach Golf Club.

"It's obviously my state home open," he said. "To win at home would be something different from winning overseas with everyone else around.  

"It would be pretty cool to win this week but it's one of those things, it is quite difficult to come home and play and I think a lot of players feel that when they go and play back at home.

Lucas Herbert with his first professional title

"To go and play in their home country can be quite tough because there is obviously quite a lot more expectation, quite a lot more pressure on you to play well. You're expected to play a lot better.  

"So the challenge for me this week is just going to be to try and make sure I keep a level head and not get ahead of myself, not expect too much of myself.  

"The week in Dubai we were pretty much trying to finish in the top 40, so there's no reason to change that. I want to have a nice solid week, do all the things that I need to do and let the rest take care of itself."

The 24-year-old secured a top 30 in Saudi Arabia after his win in Dubai and appears to have brought that form Down Under, shooting what he believes was a ten under round in the pro-am.

The challenge for me this week is just going to be to try and make sure I keep a level head and not get ahead of myself, not expect too much of myself

After a brilliant rookie campaign in 2018 which included seven top tens and a top 50 finish on the the Race to Dubai Rankings Presented by Rolex, Herbert was battling to keep his card last season, and admits it was a tough time.

"Within my team we had some pretty in‑depth conversations and meetings last year that sorted a lot of stuff out and got a lot of stuff out that needed to be said," he added.

"We obviously had some success and then it wasn't kind of going the way we wanted to early last year, just all the tension that can create and the friction that can create at times. We spoke about everything we needed to do there and everyone got more on the same page.

"The last few weeks has been great, I've actually really enjoyed going out and grinding to get the best out of myself both before the tournament and during the tournament.  

"Even after the win, I think 12 months ago I probably would have just gone home to celebrate but I was really keen on playing the next week in Saudi Arabia. Things have changed quite a lot. It's good to be back enjoying the game."

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