Herbert eyes Smith duel in Aust return

Cameron Smith may have the Greg Norman Medal in the bag but that's all Lucas Herbert is prepared to give him ahead of an overdue duel on Australian soil.

Herbert will join world No.3 Smith, Adam Scott, Marc Leishman and emerging star Min Woo Lee at Brisbane's Royal Queensland for the Australian PGA Championship from November 24.

The Australian Open, world golf's first-ever dual-gender national open, will then be co-hosted by the Victoria and Kingston Heath Golf Clubs in December.

Smith won the PGA Championship in 2017 and 2018 but, no thanks to COVID-19, Australian golf fans have been starved of high-profile fields since hosting the President's Cup in 2019.

A two-time winner on Europe's DP World Tour and champion at Bermuda's PGA Tour event last year, Herbert admits there was a month of tension while Smith and Leishman left for the controversial LIV Tour.

The world No.55 insists there's no hard feelings now.

But Herbert couldn't resist a subtle chip as he eyes a top-10 finish at South Africa's Nedbank Challenge this week that would likely sneak him into Dubai's DP World Tour Championship finale.

"There's not many Aussies left out here (on the PGA Tour) now," he said.

"It was tense for maybe the first month, everyone trying to figure out what was going on, who was going and what it looked like.

"The Aussie public probably hasn't seen that elite level tournament golf since 2019 and he's (Smith) someone I'd love to go up against going down the back nine on Sunday in both of those events.

"Cam's had a season ... it'd be a foregone conclusion he's going to win the Greg Norman Medal (as Australia's golfer of the year).

"And I'd say playing those 54-hole (LIV Tour) events I reckon him and Greg might've had a chat about who's won that already."

Herbert, tied 15th with Scott when Smith marched to a historic British Open win in July, is adamant the Australian events won't descend into a battle of tours.

"I just want to come back and win; I'd love to have my name on one of those trophies, be a supporter of Australian golf," he said.

"Leish and Scotty and Cam are playing, but I've had a season playing against those boys week in, week out," he said.

"They don't have the same effect they might on some of the other guys playing (in Australia) that get up early on a Monday morning to watch them finish off PGA Tour events."