Lucas Herbert finally has some downtime after a few busy months on the road living out of a suitcase.
He has just wrapped up a run of top results at PGA and European Tour events and now has a few weeks to relax before he starts up again to cap off the year in December with a quick stint in the Middle East.
At the beginning of his return to play after lockdown it had been nearly six months since his last tournament, which was a battle in itself to get back in the right head space to compete against the world's best golfers.
"My game was in a good spot physically after such a long break due to COVID, but mentally I just wasn't where I wanted to be in the first two tournaments, Memphis and the PGA," Herbert said.
"I then had five weeks off between the PGA and U.S Open and I focused on getting myself in a good head space to be able to play under tournament conditions, such as not getting too hard on myself after making mistakes."
The new mental approach certainly paid off for the Neangar Park product as he achieved his best ever major finish that week at New York's Winged Foot Golf Club, a T31 (+12).
"It was definitely a stepping stone. It was my fifth major and in previous starts I felt like I wasn't able to get the results I had the ability to achieve," Herbert said.
"I was always 50th back in the pack but always felt that I deserved better results with the way I had played.
"The T31 is satisfying, but not a win and I hope to have better results in majors throughout my career."
Herbert took the confidence from the top finish at the U.S Open back across the Atlantic to play in the Irish Open the week after where he finished T7.
"The U.S courses test every part of your game a lot more than courses on the European Tour, obviously there are some exceptions," he said.
"At the first two courses back on the European Tour, Galgorm and the Renaissance Club, I was able to get away with hitting the odd poor shot, where as it wouldn't have been the case back in the U.S.
"Also in the U.S the depth of talent in the field is phenomenal and with just one bad day you will really drop a long way down the leaderboard."
After the performance in Northern Ireland, Herbert then went on to play in the Scottish Open where he finished T4.
The highlight of the tournament was a remarkable comeback in the final round with an impressive six-under-par 65 after a daunting eight-over 79 the day before.
During the Scottish Open he was also able play alongside one of his favourite players, Robert Rock.
"They were a pretty good couple of days. Rocky and I are good mates and we always discuss fashion choices such as if he's going to wear a hat or not," Herbert laughed.
"He is an old school traditionalist with golf and I love picking his brain on parts of the game such as philosophies and practice schedules.
"He is also a great coach and player who has been on the tour for a long time and knows a lot more than coaches who haven't played in addition to players who haven't coached."
Herbert now finds himself back in Australia with around 10 days left in hotel quarantine before he can head back to his base in Queensland.
There's around six weeks remaining before he is due for his next events, an early December stint in the Middle East which includes the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.
It's a part of the world where he feels fairly confident with courses, especially on the back of his first professional win at the 2020 Dubai Desert Classic.
"You can always be pretty sure conditions will be relatively good in Dubai as it doesn't rain that often so you know what you're in for," he said
Herbert is ninth on the Race to Dubai Standings, with the top-10 players earning big prize money at the end of the season.
"I try not to think about the standings too much, but that being said I want to have a solid finish to my year in Dubai," Herbert said.
"In addition to the top-10 there's also solid performance benefits that come with a top-20 finish in terms of world events next year.
"If I don't have a good season next year but finished in the top-10 this year it would mean a lot more to me in terms of getting starts in events than it would right now."
World rankings are another focus for Herbert, who is currently ranked 70 (career-best 64 earlier this year).
"My place in the world rankings as well as the R2D standings are two things I can improve on this year and will be focusing on those as goals."
Overall, it's certainly been a whirlwind two years on the road for Herbert.
"I've been so busy I haven't really had time to sit back and reflect on what I've done," he said.
"I am very proud of myself in what I've achieved in the past two years, especially going through a lot of adversity on the course which has been well-documented."
"I am most impressed with the way I was able to come through all of that and it makes me prouder than anything I've achieved on a golf course."
2020 Results and rankings
- BMW PGA Championship: (MC) 108T
- Scottish Open: (-9) T4
- Irish Open:(-5) T7
- U.S Open: (+12) T31
- U.S PGA Championship: (MC) T92
- WGC St Jude Invitational: (Even) T49
- WGC Mexico Championship: (+4) T58
- Vic Open: (-10) T12
- Saudi International: (-2) T27
- Dubai Desert Classic: (-9) 1
- Abu Dhabi Championship: (+1) T67
- Current world ranking: 70
- Race to Dubai: 9th
In other golf news, the Australia PGA has announced the cancellation of the Australian PGA Championship, Australian Open and Women's Australian Open.
"It's unprecedented and a real blow for Australian golf and its fans," PGA of Australia chief executive Gavin Kirkman said.
"We have collectively spent months in exhaustive consultation with all relevant authorities and our sanctioning partners to try to find a way to stage all three events safely and at that world-class level to which we've all become accustomed."
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