Jul 3rd, 2021
Herbert extends lead at Irish Open
Australian opens up a two-shot lead at Mount Juliet Estate
Photography: Getty Images
The 25-year-old started the day with a one-stroke advantage over the field but a five-under second round, which included eight birdies, moved him to a 13 under total and doubled his lead as he bids to become just the third player from Australia to win the island of Ireland’s national open.
"It was a little frustrating but also felt like I did pretty well to scrap 67 out of that. Yeah, I holed some really nice putts and missed some that I thought were good chances to make; obviously the double on three," said Herbert.
"For a round that hopefully is not the better one of the week, I felt like I did really well to get a lot out of it and put myself into a very good position going into the weekend."
In a share of second place were Englishman Andy Sullivan, after the 2016 Ryder Cup player shot a six-under 66, and Scot Grant Forrest who signed for a 67. Four-time European Tour winner Sullivan finished in a tie for second in his last appearance at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open in 2019 and he will be looking to go one better in Kilkenny.
Forrest is another player hoping to feed off the memories of the 2019 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Lahinch Golf Club – the 2018 Challenge Tour graduate played alongside Robert Rock on day three as he came within a shot of a 59, before being drawn in the final round with Jon Rahm as the Spaniard fired a scorching 62 to soar to a famous victory in front of sell-out crowds.
It was a better day for the home favourites at Mount Juliet as four-time Major winner Rory McIlroy shot an impressive 67 to move to a five-under total, where he was later joined by The Open Champion Shane Lowry who made a late charge to move from outside the cut line to within eight strokes of the lead with two rounds still to play.