GREENSBORO, N.C. – Jim Herman has experienced a forgettable season. He’s missed the cut in eight of his last 11 starts, and was the only golfer that Brooks Koepka beat in the final round of the PGA Championship last week when Herman finished T-77. Herman hadn’t shot better than 65 all season.
So, of course, he went out early on Saturday and shot a career-low 9-under-par 61 at Sedgefield Country Club.
Herman reeled off five birdies in a row on the back nine, starting at No. 13, to post the low round of the tournament and get in the mix at the Wyndham Championship.
“When I putt well, I’m going to be in contention,” said Herman a two-time PGA Tour winner.
Could this be yet another time where playing with his former boss, some guy named President Donald Trump, will lead to victory?
It’s been well documented how Herman worked as an assistant professional at Trump Bedminster in New Jersey, and was a regular partner of the now Commander in Chief. It was Trump who told Herman he belonged on the PGA Tour, which led to Herman resuming his chase of trophies and eventually a title at the 2016 Shell Houston Open.
Last year, Trump gave Herman a putting tip when they played a casual round together, suggesting a change to a conventional putting grip, and Herman captured the Barbasol Championship shortly thereafter.
“I’m very fortunate, I’ve had him in my corner for a long time, one of my biggest fans,” Herman said.
The 42-year-old Herman also noted that he played with the President at Trump Bedminister three weeks ago.
“So maybe I’ve got another omen,” Herman said. “Whenever I play with him, I usually have some good finishes. Last two wins I had played with him either the week or two weeks before. Maybe three weeks is still within the reach of his, I guess, little bit of good luck for me. Yeah, he’s been very supportive of me. hopefully, you never know, I may get a phone call from him this afternoon.”
Herman opened with rounds of 66-69 to make the weekend, and didn’t give any signs of a career-low round until he made back-to-back birdies at Nos. 5 and 6. He tacked on another at eight to make the turn in 3-under 32. Herman birdied No. 10 and then had his string of five birdies to shoot 29 coming home. Herman hit 13 of 14 fairways and 17 of 18 greens. At 14, the lone hole that he didn’t find the putting surface with his approach, he sank a 45-foot birdie putt from the chipping area.
“That was just luck,” he said. “But it’s nice to get that in.”
Herman entered the final week of the regular season ranked No. 192 in the FedEx Cup point standings, which means he either needs to win or go home.
“I’ve got one goal in mind, is to get to the — to be the champion this week and to move on,” he said.