Bendigo's Lucas Herbert is the toast of European golf after he scored a stunning win in the Dubai Desert Classic.
In the early hours of Monday morning (AEDT), Herbert defeated South African Christian Bezuidenhout in a thrilling play-off to score his first professional victory and, in the process, cement his future in the sport.
Herbert's name now appears on the Dubai Desert Classic honour roll which also features Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Ernie Els.
After appearing to blow his chances of victory by hitting his second shot at the first play-off hole - the par-five 18th - into the water, Herbert showed great courage and class to force a second play-off hole thanks to a brilliant pitch from the drop zone to within one metre of the hole.
After the adversity of the first play-off hole, Herbert played the second play-off hole almost perfectly.
A monster drive gave him a mid-iron into the 18th green which he left about 30-feet from the hole.
With Bezuidenhout facing a tough 25-foot putt for birdie, Herbert's eagle putt trickled to within one metre of the hole.
Bezuidenhout narrowly missed his birdie putt, leaving Herbert to tap in his birdie for the title.
He made no mistake and responded with a double fist pump and a hug for his caddie as the excitement and relief of the victory sunk in.
"Mate, it is awesome. This is the best thing ever, it's so good,'' a jubilant Herbert told the TV broadcast after his win.
"I have a bottle of scotch back at home in Australia, so I can't wait to get into that with the boys."
Herbert had a brilliant rookie season in Europe in 2018 before having a frustrating 2019 season where he just retained his tour card.
Herbert said a change in his mental approach this week had helped pave the way for his return to his best form.
"Last week I was probably like 20th going into the weekend and for about the 10th time in the last 12 months I backed it out and finished near the back of the field.
"I got really frustrated, so I put in some really good tactics this week with my mental coach Jamie Glazier. Just tried to be really positive and write down a lot of positive stuff.
"It's so cliche, but it worked so much. I felt so confident out there and it felt like good golf was going to come."
Herbert started Sunday's final round six shots off the lead and the margin became seven when he bogeyed the first hole.
However, he regained momentum quickly with birdies on the second and third holes.
With conditions getting tougher as the afternoon wore on, Herbert played solid golf and, after seven-straight pars, birdied the par-three 11th.
He gave that shot back straight away at the 12th, but another birdie on the 13th catapulted him into the top five.
Just as those players ahead of him on the leaderboard started to falter, Herbert finished brilliantly with birdies on the 17th and 18th holes to grab a share of the clubhouse lead at nine-under par.
His final round four-under par 68 was the equal-best round of the day.
Under extreme pressure Herbert held his nerve in the play-off.
His reward for his breakthrough win - a cheque for $AUD792,095.03, exemption on the European Tour until the end of 2022, second place in the Race to Dubai standings and an expected spike in his world ranking from 223 to about 80.
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