by Tony Webeck, PGA of Australia
As a golfer, Lucas Herbert has aspirations to imitate the performance of Greg Norman and Tiger Woods; as a person, the 22-year-old from Bendigo wants to be like Jarrod Lyle.
RACV Royal Pines Resort will be a sea of yellow in honor of Lyle for the opening day of the Australian PGA Championship on the Gold Coast on Thursday with Herbert to wear a specially made yellow golf bag for the week.
At the completion of the tournament, the bag is auctioned with money to go to Lyle's wife Briony and their two daughters, but that does not mean the end of his tribute to the beloved Aussie golfer who died in August.
Colleagues with liberal doses of cheek from Victorian rural towns only 120 kilometers apart, there are personality traits that both the pair of Lyle and that of Herbert share.
While the ever-present smile of Lyle brought people in, Herbert's sense of humor comes with a number of sarcasm, never afraid to argue his point through social media channels or on podcasts
Because Lyle was impossible not to want, Herbert's bravado can not be anything but respected and if he sets his sights on world-wave domination, he knows that keeping Lyle's legacy is a crucial part of his development as person.
"I would like to follow in his footsteps, but I consider Jarrod more as the kind of person I want to be," said Herbert.
"He was always a compatriot, no matter where he came into the world and in which tournaments he played.
"Nobody had a bad word to say about him, he was always such a nice guy for whom he also met.
"Everyone always had a lot of time for him, he always had a lot of time for everyone, he never forgot where he came from.
"So much of that is what I want to be as a person, not just as a golfer, so that's why I do not feel like a loss with Jarrod anymore."
As part of the next wave of young Australian golfers who were ready to leave their mark on the world's biggest tours, Herbert used his talent and confidence to turn seven invitations for sponsors in the European Tour this year into a full card for 2019.
Confident enough to ask Tiger Woods for a practice round at the British Open in July, Herbert played every possible event he could until a runner-up finish at the Portugal Masters pushed him in the race to Dubai final series.
His amazing game lasted two weeks ago to the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai, which gave admiration to more experienced Aussies during the European Tour
"We played with him at the New South Wales Open last year and I said that this guy will be the top 50 in the world in two or three years", said Jason Scrivener, who just fell short for qualifying for the final of the European Tour in Dubai.
"He's a really good player and he does the right things, all the things that the top 50 players in the world are doing, he does it, plus he has a lot of talent.
"I have no doubt that he will take too long and be in the United States.
"Unless you have the status and a full card right, you have to (play any event you can) Even if you have a Q School category, you never know.
"You are called a few days before the tournament and that is the hardest thing to be an Australian, you have to take a flight and start the day before the tournament starts.
"But he is a good enough player to get through, even if he is not completely prepared, but it has certainly been quite impressive."
Soon he became one of the older statesmen of the Aussie contingent on tour – and another player with roots in regional Victoria – Marc Leishman was also impressed by the way Herbert had benefited from limited opportunities
"I have not really had anything to do with Lucas, but I am aware of his year", said Leishman.
"I did the qualifying tournaments on the Nationwide Tour at that time and he started this year without status.
"That's pretty impressive to get to the last event in Dubai the year that he did that, no status.
"He's clearly a pretty great talent too: you've got the boys on the PGA TOUR, Cam Davis and Curtis Luck this year, I think you should throw Lucas Herbert's name on one of the guys to be sure of that in the future. to pay attention. "
It is already clear that Herbert will represent Australia in the biggest tournaments of the game for the next decade, but he also wants to literally take out Greg Norman's book – and win it regularly at home, starting this week at the Australian PGA Championship.
"I read Greg Norman's book in recent weeks and he always said he always wanted to go back to Australia and be seen as a winner in Australia," Herbert revealed.
"That resonated a lot with me, I'd love to come back here and win our events when I get the career I hope to have.
"It would be great to start here on the Gold Coast."