The Fortinet Championship in Napa, California, kicked off the PGA Tour Fall on Thursday. This seven-event collection offers extra alternatives for gamers not within the High 50 of the FedEx Cup standings.
Following this stretch, the highest 125 gamers within the standings change into eligible for full-field tour occasions in 2024. That’s vital for gamers on the periphery, reminiscent of Lucas Herbert of Australia, who ranks 152nd within the FedEx Cup standings.
“Golf’s been getting me down fairly onerous this yr,” Herbert admitted Thursday. “It was only a powerful stretch there the place I had rather a lot happening each in my life and on the golf course as nicely.”
That ‘powerful stretch’ was nowhere to be discovered Thursday, as Herbert carded a 9-under 63 to vault as much as the highest of the leaderboard.
He leads by two strokes over S.H. Kim.
“I discovered somewhat groove there,” Herbert defined. “It felt like something I did poorly appeared to work out properly for me, and the nice photographs obtained rewarded. Yeah, I didn’t really feel like I performed badly; I felt like I performed okay and simply obtained loads of good breaks and capitalized on probabilities.”
The Bendigo, Australia native drained 144 toes of putts and gained shut to 5 strokes on the greens, simply main the sphere. He rolled the ball fantastically.
Ought to the putter keep scorching, Herbert will launch up the FedEx Cup standings and into the High 125.
That might be a exceptional accomplishment, contemplating he has not performed since The Open Championship.
He wanted to reset, as his eight-week hiatus paid dividends.
“I didn’t wish to take into consideration golf or discuss golf for a few good month there; I simply wanted to get away from the sport and refresh all the things,” Herbert stated.
“Yeah, it sucked, I’d like to be right here or up on the FedExCup standings as we communicate, however hopefully, taking that good break, refreshing, have somewhat reset provides me a greater likelihood to play nicely within the fall season and get some higher outcomes and get into the larger occasions once more subsequent yr.”
Herbert should end the PGA Tour Fall ranked 51st and sixtieth within the FedEx Cup standings to get into these greater occasions.
Dubbed ‘The Subsequent 10,’ the ten highest-ranked gamers from the autumn season qualify for The Sentry in Maui and the AT&T Pebble Seashore Professional-Am, the primary two Signature Occasions of the 2024 season.
However Herbert is aware of all about enjoying in huge fields. He has performed in every of the 4 majors, gained in Bermuda in 2021, and gained in Japan on the DP World Tour final April. He even tied for thirteenth on the 2022 PGA Championship, gained by Justin Thomas.
So Herbert is aware of all concerning the strain that ramps up when the stakes get larger.
“Whenever you’re within the largest occasions in opposition to the very best gamers, I believe it’s both simply exterior strain, or there are simply expectations internally that you just’re simply going to maintain going up, preserve getting higher, and preserve producing the identical outcomes in opposition to higher fields,” Herbert defined.
“It doesn’t take a lot so that you can be off out right here. Whenever you don’t get a couple of of these outcomes, it simply compounds, and it compounds, and you place extra strain on your self, and it will get worse, and really shortly you possibly can go down a slippery slope.”
Therefore why Herbert wanted time away from the sport. He reached a ‘breaking level’ and wanted break day from the chaos that’s skilled golf.
Regardless of that, Herbert got here out on hearth on the Fortinet Championship and now has an opportunity to lock up a strong place for 2024.
That’s the fantastic thing about the PGA Tour Fall. It provides alternative to these gamers on the surface, those that have struggled, and people who deserve a second likelihood.