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GREENSBORO, N.C. – Jim Herman shot his career low round Saturday at the Wyndham Championship, and he might have President Donald Trump to thank for it.
Before establishing himself on the PGA Tour, Herman worked in the pro shop at Trump Bedminster Golf Club in New Jersey and played regularly with Trump. The two have maintained their relationship since Trump took up residency in the Oval Office, and they shared friendly rounds in the weeks preceding each of Herman’s two prior wins at the 2016 Houston Open and 2019 Barbasol Championship. Their most recent round together came just three weeks ago at Trump’s Bedminster property.
“I’m very fortunate. I’ve had him in my corner for a long time, one of my biggest fans,” 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 reach of his, I guess, little bit of luck for me.”
There wasn’t much luck involved with Herman’s third-round 61, a bogey-free trip around Sedgefield Country Club that got him to 14 under for the week and briefly saw him tie for the lead. Herman birdied nine of his final 14 holes, including a 45-footer from the fringe on No. 14 on the only green he missed in regulation all day.
Herman had missed eight of his last 11 cuts, and Sunday at the PGA Championship he was the only player who failed to beat Brooks Koepka’s final-round 74. Despite the lack of recent form, he’s now within striking distance of another win heading into the final round.
“Pretty low after last week’s weekend performance at the PGA Championship, played terribly. Maybe hit the fairway once or twice on Sunday, something was off with my swing,” Herman said. “Just put some work in on the range this week, changed the putting up a little bit and, you know, seeing some putts going in early gets your confidence up.”
FIVE birdies in a row for @GoHermie.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) August 15, 2020
Herman is fully exempt for the next two seasons by virtue of his win last year at Barbasol, but his playoff aspirations were all but gone to start the week. He teed off at No. 192 in the points, essentially needing a top-2 finish to advance to next week’s 125-man Northern Trust at TPC Boston.
While it still seemed like a longshot after the first two rounds, Herman plans to take dead aim heading into the final round of the regular season.
“Win or go home,” Herman said. “I’ve done it before, done it (won) a couple times. Don’t like to put yourself in that position here in the final week before the playoffs, but it is what it is. If I’m not able to, then go home and get ready for the start of the new season.”