Coaching support helps Herbert to maiden PGA Title

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Aug 5, 2021; Memphis, Tennessee, USA; Lucas Herbert reacts to missing a putt on the 13th hole during the first round of the WGC FedEx St. Jude Invitational golf tournament at TPC Southwind. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

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Nov 1 (Reuters) - Lucas Herbert's decision to bring his coach across to Bermuda to help work on his swing proved a masterstroke at the weekend when the Australian secured his maiden U.S. PGA title at the Butterfield Bermuda Championship.

The 25-year-old, who won the Irish Open in July to add to his previous European Tour win at the Dubai Desert Classic, became the first Australian man since Adam Scott in 2008 to win titles on the world's two biggest tours in the same season.

Along with a cheque for $1.17 million, 500 Fedex Cup points and a two-year exemption on the PGA Tour, the victory earned Herbert tickets to next year's Masters and January's Tournament of Champions in Kapalua, Hawaii.

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"The next 12 months are going to be really cool. I've never played Augusta, so being able to play the Masters is going to be pretty cool," he said after his victory at Port Royal on Sunday.

"Getting to play in a few of these events that I've watched growing up on TV, it's just going to be a cool experience. No matter how I play, it's just going to be phenomenal to play in those tournaments."

Getting coaching help to prepare for the tournament was by no means straightforward as border controls in place when Dom Azzopardi left Australia meant there was no guarantee he would be able to get back into the country.

"My game was really, really struggling and I decided to call in and get him out over here," Herbert added.

"At the time it looked a bit dicey trying to get him back into Australia ... so for him to make that commitment to come out and help me out a lot with my golf swing ... to have it pay off so quickly and to share that win with him, that was really special."

Herbert, whose first title came in his 19th start on the PGA Tour, was reluctant to talk about his expectations for the future.

"Too easy when you win to think you're never going to not win again," he said.

"So I think the next few days we'll sit back and think and celebrate and then reset some plans going forward."

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Reporting by Nick Mulvenney; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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