Lucas Herbert got his hands on European Tour silverware for the very first time to move to second in the Race to Dubai after he came out on top of a thrilling play-off with Christiaan Bezuidenhout to win the 31st edition of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic in challenging conditions at Emirates Golf Club.
Both men had started the day six shots behind leader Ashun Wu but as the players above them faltered in the tricky weather conditions, the duo shot tied the round of the day of four under par 68 to finish on nine under par and take the tournament to extra holes.
Herbert’s chance looked to be over on the first trip back up the 18th after finding the water with his approach but the Australian’s superb fourth shot left him a tap in par which Bezuidenhout matched. The 24-year-old sealed the iconic Dallah Trophy on the second extra hole with a birdie while Bezuidenhout could only make par.
“There’s some pretty awful stuff happening in Australia right now with the fires and Cam Smith said it a couple of weeks ago when he won, everyone around the world is behind us and hopefully we can keep fighting harder than what I did on that first play-off hole,” said Herbert, whose victory on Australia Day saw him pick up 710 Race to Dubai points to climb from 119th to second in the Rankings.
“That’s nothing compared to the firefighters and volunteers that are putting out the fires so I’m sending all my love back home.”
Bezuidenhout's runner-up finish moves the South African up to eighth in the Rankings after collecting 472 Race to Dubai points.
Dubai-based Adri Arnaus finished two shots off the leaders to share third with Tom Lewis and Dean Burmester which earns all three players 219.3 points. Arnaus moves up to 15th from 102nd while Burmester and Lewis both enter the Rankings in 17th.
Wu moves up to 26th from 103rd with his tied sixth finish while last year’s Oman Open champion, Kurt Kitayama, makes his way up to 23rd from 60th after also finishing sixth.
All eyes now turn to Saudi Arabia as the Desert Swing continues at Royal Greens Golf & Country Club this week.
The top 50 players in the Race to Dubai Rankings will contest the season-ending US$8 million DP World Tour Championship at Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai from November 19-22, 2020 where US$3 million will be up for grabs for the winner, making it the richest first prize in world tournament golf.