Golf: Lucas Herbert wins Dubai Desert Classic in play-off

Lucas Herbert of Australia celebrating with the championship trophy after winning the play-offs in the final round of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic at the Emirates Golf Club in Dubai on Jan 26, 2020.
Lucas Herbert of Australia celebrating with the championship trophy after winning the play-offs in the final round of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic at the Emirates Golf Club in Dubai on Jan 26, 2020.PHOTO: AFP

DUBAI (AFP) - Lucas Herbert celebrated Australia Day with his first title on golf's European Tour, when he beat South Africa's Christiaan Bezuidenhout on the second play-off hole on Sunday (Jan 26) to win the Dubai Desert Classic.

After hitting his second shot on the first extra hole into the water on the par-five 18th hole, Herbert made a terrific up-and-down for par, and then birdied the same hole a little while later. Bezuidenhout overshot the green with his second and failed to make his up-and-down from there.

Both Bezuidenhout and Herbert shot rounds of four-under 68 in extremely difficult conditions at the Majlis course of Emirates Golf Club and set the clubhouse marker at nine-under 279.

However, none of the leading players after the third round could catch up with the two, as gusting winds of 48kmh and more wreaked havoc on the field.

It was the biggest final-round comeback in the 31-year history of the tournament.

Herbert had started the day five shots behind overnight leader Wu Ashun of China, who crashed to a 77 for joint sixth on 282. The previous record was held by Tiger Woods, who overcame a four-shot deficit in 2008.

It was the 24-year-old Herbert's 50th appearance on the European Tour and the win is expected to lift him from 223rd in the world ranking to No. 77 on Monday.

Three players - Dean Burmester (72) of South Africa, Tom Lewis (74) of England and Adri Arnaus (70) of Spain - were tied third at seven-under par 281.