Herbert, Luck ready to step up at US Open

Australian youngsters Lucas Herbert and Curtis Luck will compete in a major together for the first time in their careers at the US Open in New York.

LUCAS HERBERT.
LUCAS HERBERT. Picture: Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images

Promising Australian prospects Lucas Herbert and Curtis Luck are blooming on some of golf's biggest tours but the pair are hoping to step up to the majors stage at the US Open.

Herbert and Luck, both 24, grew up playing against each other and will compete in a major together for the first time when the US Open begins Thursday night (AEST) at New York's famed Winged Foot course.

It is the first US Open at Winged Foot since Australia's Geoff Ogilvy held off Phil Mickelson to win the 2006 edition, when Herbert and Luck were 10 year olds.

The youngsters are now establishing their own credentials in professional golf, with big-hitting Herbert winning the European Tour's prestigious Dubai Desert Classic in January.

Perth native Luck captured his first win as a pro on the US PGA Tour's cut-throat secondary circuit at its Columbus, Ohio event last month.

"It seems every week (Australia) has someone contending on all the tours, men and women, so I think Australian golf is in a pretty good spot," Herbert told AAP from New York.

Winged Foot will torture underperforming players with its narrow fairways, knee-high rough and firm, fast greens.

This week's 72-hole score is predicted to be close to Ogilvy's five-over-par total in 2006.

The US Open is Luck's second major start after playing the 2017 Masters as an amateur, while Herbert is contesting his fourth major and second US Open.

Two of Herbert's major starts were in New York - the 2018 US Open at Shinnecock Hills and the 2019 PGA Championship at Bethpage.

The Bendigo native admits it will be weird without the boisterous New York crowds banned from attending due to COVID-19.

"New York crowds let you know if you've hit a good or bad shot so it'll be strange without them," Herbert said.

Herbert said playing golf on Melbourne's famed sandbelt region had prepared him for a course like Winged Foot, where he also expects his power to be an advantage.

Before Melbourne native Ogilvy won at Winged Foot, golf great Greg Norman lost in an 18-hole play-off there to Fuzzy Zoeller at the 1984 US Open.

"The Melbourne sandbelt prepares you for any course in the world; around the greens you have to be phenomenal and you can't get away with poor technique on the sandbelt," he said.

"We're going to hit a lot of mid and long irons into par 4s this week and that is a strength of my game, as well as driving it strong."

Luck and Herbert are joined at the US Open by fellow Australians Jason Day, Adam Scott, Marc Leishman, Cameron Smith, Matt Jones, Scott Hend and amateur Lukas Michel.