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Australia's Herbert claims second European Tour title with wire-to-wire Irish Open win

Shane Lowry finished the week on nine-under par after a final-round 66 ahead of his Open defence at Royal St George’s.

Australia's Lucas Herbert celebrates his Irish Open victory.
Australia's Lucas Herbert celebrates his Irish Open victory.
Image: Peter Fitzpatrick/INPHO

Updated Jul 4th 2021, 6:01 PM

AUSTRALIA’S LUCAS HERBERT secured his second European Tour title with a wire-to-wire victory in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open.

Herbert took a one-shot lead into the final round at Mount Juliet and carded a closing 68 to finish on 19 under par, three shots clear of Sweden’s Rikard Karlberg.

The victory secured Herbert a place in the Open Championship at Royal St George’s, with Karlberg – who chipped in on the 18th for his third birdie in the last four holes – and third-placed American Johannes Veerman claiming the other two places on offer.

Birdies on the second and third had extended Herbert’s overnight lead to three shots, but the 25-year-old then bogeyed the fifth and did well to scramble for par on the seventh and eighth after wild tee shots into the trees.

Francesco Laporta’s sixth birdie in a row on the 10th briefly took him into a share of the lead and although Herbert birdied the same hole to edge back in front, birdies on the 10th and 14th lifted Veerman alongside Herbert on 17 under.

However, Veerman then surprisingly hit an iron off the tee on the short par-four 15th and could only make par, while Herbert smashed his drive into a greenside bunker and got up and down for birdie.

Veerman’s bogey on the 16th gave Herbert some welcome breathing space and a birdie on the 17th effectively sealed the win.

Karlberg’s brilliant finish saw him snatch second place from Veerman, who bogeyed the last, with Laporta and Scotland’s Grant Forrest part of a five-way tie for fourth after both made costly double bogeys on the 18th.

Meanwhile, Ireland’s Shane Lowry tuned up for his Open Championship defence with a bogey-free 66 on the final day.

Lowry’s Sunday charge was too little too late for him to mount a challenge at Mount Juliet, but could be enough to ensure that he finishes the week as the best of the home contingent.

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The six-under round saw him finish on nine-under par for his tournament, tied for 23rd.

Rory McIlroy carded a final-round 74 to finish two under par in a tie for 59th, a shot behind Graeme McDowell who also fired a 74 on Sunday and finished T56 on three under for the weekend.

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