Lucas Herbert senses a chance to make his mark with home fans as golf plans its Australian return later this year.
The 24-year-old Victorian has been based on the Sunshine Coast since his breakthrough victory in the Dubai Desert Classic in January, a win that shored up his European Tour presence until 2022 before the coronavirus-enforced shutdown.
Herbert got his first look at Brisbane's Royal Queensland layout this week before it takes over as host of the Australian PGA Championship from December 3.
It is the first major tournament date locked in for a revamped "summer of golf" announced on Sunday that will stretch until March, rather than be based around a traditional calendar year.
With reigning champion Adam Scott and two-time winner Cameron Smith both boasting ties to Royal Queensland, the PGA of Australia is hopeful of their attendance, although doubts around drawcard internationals remain given the likely restrictions on travel.
Regardless, Herbert, Vic Open winner Min Woo Lee and last year's New Zealand Open champion Zach Murray have all shown they are capable of putting on a show.
“It's a great chance for them to play well and win a big event and really get their name in front of the Australian public and try and build a brand for themselves.” – Lucas Herbert
A first-round leader at Royal Pines at last December's PGA Championship, Herbert was confident the country's next crop were ready to graduate.
"It's a great chance for them to play well and win a big event and really get their name in front of the Australian public and try and build a brand for themselves," Herbert said.
"We've had successful events before when we've been up against the wall with international Tours having events on at the same time as us.
"I had the great weekend at the Australian Open a couple of years ago playing the weekend with Jason Day and I've led quite a number of the tournaments that we play throughout Australia at some point or another.
"It's pretty special and it's a different feeling from winning overseas."
The World No.64 has worked on his cooking, surfing and even bought a guitar in an effort to stay fresh ahead of what he hopes will be a flurry of golf later this year.
"I've tried to put the clubs away and have a break, because I think we'll play enough golf that'll burn us out pretty quickly," he said.
- Murray Wenzel, Australian Associated Press