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Herbert thrives on late Aust Open invite

AAP logoAAP 17/11/2016 Darren Walton

He won't capture the headlines that Curtis Luck will, but co-leader Lucas Herbert had his own worthy story to tell after the first round of the Australian Open at Royal Sydney.

It's not quite as fascinating as his tale of two years ago, when Herbert famously slept in his parents' car after driving overnight from Melbourne to Sydney in a desperate - but successful - bid to qualify for the Open.

On that occasion, Herbert awoke in the Carnarvon Gold Club car park and dragged himself to his early-morning qualifying tee time after making a costly double bogey on the final hole of the Australian Masters to miss automatic entry by a shot.

Then still a teenager, Herbert vindicated his inclusion by finishing as the low amateur in a tie for 23rd at The Australian Golf Club.

After missing last year's Open, he virtually begged his way into this week's field with what he called some "cheeky Twitter" exchanges last Friday.

"I'm not even playing and I somehow get on the promo... surely if your (sic) going to use me like that you can get me a start in maybe 1 of them ??" he posted in reference to Channel Seven featuring him in a summer of golf promotion.

"Thinking about sleeping across the back seat in the car park at Carnarvon to get the vibes back.

"Id prefer an invite please and thanks."

After opening with a flawless, five-under-par 67 on Thursday, Herbert admitted he was unsure if his pleading actually made any difference.

"Maybe it helped, maybe it didn't. I don't really know but all I know is the next day I had an invite," he said.

"So I got really fortunate with that, so it's been nice to take advantage of it so far."

The Victorian is happy for fellow 20-year-old Luck - along with other hyped amateurs Brett Coletta and Harrison Endycott and Min Woo Lee - to share the limelight after their feats around the world in 2016.

But Herbert also appears headed for stardom after only turning professional late last year following a distinguished amateur career of his own.

His leading amateur finish at the 2014 Australian Open came after a similar result at the Masters at Huntingdale, while in the same year Herbert was the individual runner-up at the world amateur team championship and second at the world junior championship.

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