It was at Royal Portrush that Lombard reached the final of The Amateur Championship in 2014, but his slender 2&1 defeat to Scot Bradley Neil meant he fell one step short of not only the prestigious title, but also invitations to The Open at Hoylake and the following season’s Masters and US Open.
Returns to Portrush now as winner of the Southern Africa Order of Merit, his performances in the past year including a win at the Vodacom Origins of Golf, a tie for third at the Alfred Dunhill Championship co-sanctioned with the European Tour and joint second in the Cape Town Open. Grabbed a Carnoustie place last summer by finishing joint sixth at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open – good enough for one of the three spots up for grabs as part of The Open Qualifying Series because others either above him or alongside him were already exempt.
Went into the event ranked 581st in the world, having missed the halfway cut in 10 of his previous 11 tournaments. Made his Open debut at Royal Troon in 2016 after a closing birdie enabled him to finish runner-up to fellow South African Haydn Porteous at Joburg Open, where three spots were also on offer.