Mexico Open at Vidanta

Vidanta Vallarta

The Loop

Herman matches Tiger in one respect

June 20, 2010

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. -- Jim Herman wasn't trying to do anything special when he stepped onto the 18th tee at Pebble Beach GL Sunday morning. He just wanted to tie Tiger Woods.

It didn't turn out how he wanted, but he still accomplished the goal.

Playing in his first U.S. Open, Herman, 32, converted two eagles in a three-hole span on the front nine at Pebble and posted an early three-under-par 68. The last man to post two eagles in nine holes at the U.S. Open was Woods during the third round of the 2008 championship at Torrey Pines GC in La Jolla, Calif. Herman eagled the 314-yard par-4 fourth hole after hitting driver onto the green to five feet. At the par-5 sixth, Herman knocked a 3-iron to seven feet and made that.

"I hit the ball pretty well all day," said Herman, who won the Nationwide Tour's Moonah Classic earlier this year. "I shot 10 over par yesterday, so my goal was to go out and try to get a score early and get part of a record. I've always been a pretty aggressive player."

Herman, of Port St. Lucie, Fla., who got in the open as a sectional qualifier, didn't have a chance to win as Woods did at Torrey, starting Sunday in the day's second group with former Masters champion Mike Weir. And he didn't know he had tied Woods with two eagles.

What he did know after he bogeyed the 16th hole is that he stood five under, and that a par would give him 66, tied with Woods, Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson for low round of the tournament. Unfortunately, he hit his tee shot into the ocean and suffered a double-bogey.

"It would have been nice to have a putt to tie, or even a chance to shoot 65, but I made a bad swing," Herman said. "You hate making a mistake like that, but I've had a good start on the Nationwide Tour this year, and I'm going to use this to continue to improve and move forward. Overall, it was a good week, a real high to take into the second half of the year."

-- Dave Shedloski