Lucas Herbert produced a brilliant final 68 to win the Irish Open by three strokes on Mount Juliet.
After starting the rounds of 64, 67 and 70, the 25-year-old Australian started the last day with a one-stroke lead and while extending it to three in the early stages, with birdies in the second and third holes, a thug on the sixth and a run of four scrambled pairs made him turn in 35 and he was soon caught at the top of the standings by Francesco Laporta.
The Italian started the final round with four strokes and fell further behind with an open hole, but six consecutive birdies of the fifth, including two chip-ins and a 40-foot, jumped him into the dispute. However, a run of seven straight pairs from the 11th and a double bow on the 18th, where he found water with his approach, saw the Italian hope sink.
Herbert put on a wonderfully composite performance on the piece and came in 33 to finish home with a 19 under par, three from the nearest challenger, Rikard Karlberg, who had three of his last four holes, with the American Johannes Veerman a further hold back in the third two late bogeys.
With Herbert’s victory, he becomes only the third Australian winner of the Irish Open and will move him into the world’s top 60, while all the top three players secure their invitations to the 149th Open later this month at Royal St George’s.
English pair Richard Bland and Dale Whitnell, Scottish Grant Forrest and Richie Ramsay and Laporta finished tied for fourth at 14 under.
Further on the standings, reigning Open champion Shane Lowry finished tied for 23rd, while Rory McIlroy struggled at the weekend and finished in 59th place.