Who knows whether Jim Herman has found the secret to winning on the PGA Tour, but his second victory, in the Barbasol Championship Sunday eventing, bore some resemblance to his first.
Two weeks before his maiden tour win, in the Shell Houston Open in 2016, Herman, 41, a former assistant professional at Trump National Golf club in Bedminster, N.J., played golf with Donald Trump.
Two weeks ago, Herman again played golf with President Trump, who offered putting advice, and, well, Herman defeated Kelly Kraft by one at Keene Trace Golf Club in Nicholasville, Ky.
“I think I need to see him again here sometime soon,” Herman said. “The weekend prior, playing golf with the president, he motivates me. He puts me in a good spot. I don’t know what it is about him, but he gets me going in the right direction in golf. I took his advice and put a new putter in play and couldn’t have putted any better this week."
After his round with the president, Herman changed to a conventional grip and conventional putterhead. “Got some advice from someone that is pretty high up and he gave me a good talking to and told me to use a different style if it's not working,” Herman said.
Herman closed with a two-under-par 70 in the rain-delayed final round and completed 72 holes in 26-under 262. Kraft led by one with three holes left but bogeyed the 16th and 17th holes, the latter on a three-putt from 42 feet when he missed a seven-footer for par. Herman made his six-footer for par to take the lead. He won with a two-putt par at 18.
The victory gives Herman a two-year PGA Tour exemption, among other benefits, and ended a long slump that began with a foot injury early in 2018. He had missed 16 cuts in 19 starts this season before winning on Sunday.
“Last couple of years have been a little lean,” he said. “A lot of missed cuts. Never lost hope. Great week. I always wanted to win a second one. I didn’t want to have just Houston. And here we are.”