Lucas Herbert has never been one to baulk at a challenge.
In his junior golfing days at Neangar Park he loved nothing more than taking on, and beating, older children and adults.
In the early stages of his professional career he relished the test of being paired with Jason Day at the Australian Open.
While most 21-year-old's would probably crumble under the pressure, Herbert welcomed it and more than held his own against the former world number one.
Next week in New York, Herbert faces another stern challenge when he plays in the second major of the year the US Open.
The venue is Winged Foot Golf Club - widely-regarded as one of the toughest tests in golf.
The past two times Winged Foot has hosted the US Open the winning scores have been five-over par (Geoff Ogilvy in 2006) and seven-over par (Hale Irwin in 1974).
It's a course that exposes your deficiencies, but that doesn't concern Herbert.
The 25-year-old welcomes the challenge.
"It will be one of the hardest US Open courses to play,'' Herbert said from Chicago this week.
"That's how I want it to be. I prefer it to be too hard than too easy.
"I feel like the golf course can set up quite well for me.
"It's going to be long and it's a place where you're going to need to drive the ball well, which is a strength of mine.
"There's going to be a lot of long irons into greens, which again plays into one of my strengths.
"You don't get slow greens at a US Open, so heading into the tournament I hope they make it as hard as possible, so that we get a true test to find the best player in the world."
Herbert has never set foot on the infamous par-70 Winged Foot layout.
However, he feels as though he's well prepared for the golf exam that starts on Thursday.
"I've done plenty of research and watched some old videos,'' he said.
"The last weeks of practice have been geared around playing a US Open course.
"I've never been to Winged Foot, but I feel as though I know more about the course than the normal person would just through the research I've done.
"It could be a case that par wins by a large number.
"Level par could be a great score, so I'm getting my mindset ready to be playing for pars and accepting the fact that I will make the odd bogey out there."
Herbert, who is ranked 79th in the world, last event was the first major of the season the US PGA Championship at Harding Park in early August.
He narrowly missed the cut that week, but it wasn't all doom and gloom.
"Harding Park gave me confidence in some areas,'' he said.
"My iron play was not where it needed to be, but my short game was above the level it needed to be.
"I putted the ball unbelievably and I chipped and pitched it unbelievably.
"That was really fulfilling to have that come about, but it was also annoying that I couldn't use it towards the rest of my game that week.
"The focus of the last two or three weeks has been on getting my entire game at a world-class level so that I have a chance of competing next week."
Herbert's "home" base to prepare for Winged Foot has been Beverly Country Club on Chicago's southside.
Herbert moved into a nearby house with friends for a few weeks before he heads to New York this weekend.
"I played the Western Amateur at Beverly about six years ago and I made some friends and started coming back from then,'' Herbert said.
"Everyone at the cub has been great to me. I can go out and practice when I want to.
"The members leave me alone when I'm working and then when I'm in the clubhouse everyone wants to have a chat and supports me.
"I love coming back here and I really feel at home."
While Herbert has hit thousands of balls at Beverly in recent weeks, 2020 has been a light year for him in terms of tournament golf.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused havoc with golf tours around the globe.
"It's been a pretty stop start year. It feels as though I've been sitting around waiting a lot of the time,'' he said.
"It has been hard to get any rhythm going.
"At the same time that could help me next week. A major like the US Open is such a massive test mentally and physically and it will tire people out quickly.
"A lot of the top guys have just come off a really busy stretch and they could be burnt out.
"Not playing much could turn out to be an advantage for me."
Herbert did have his own COVID-19 scare recently when one of his friends in Chicago tested positive for the disease.
Herbert had been in close contact with his friend and quickly underwent his own test.
"It was a concerning couple of days, but I was showing no symptoms,'' Herbert said.
"I certainly didn't want the test to come back positive and then not be able to play next week.
"The test result came back negative a couple of days later."
Herbert said the difference in Australian and US government attitudes towards COVID-19 were stark.
"In Australia it seems we're pretty much hellbent on stopping the virus and not have any more cases,'' Herbert said.
"In the US it seems they've accepted that it's near on impossible to do that (without a vaccine).
"Basically, everyday life goes on here with a few limitations. Everyone wears masks when you're around people and there's social distancing...but I haven't been locked in the house. Most things are open, I've been able to socialise and it seems pretty safe."
After the US Open, Herbert will return to the European Tour for three events.
His breakthrough win in the Duabi Desert Classic in January has Herbert well-positioned in eighth place in the European Tour's Race to Dubai rankings.
The European Tour's prestigious DO World Tour Championship has been scheduled for December 10-13 in Dubai.
"I'll head to Europe after the US Open and probably play three events,'' Herbert said.
"I'll reassess where things are at then and I might even come home."
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