Jim Herman’s victory at the Shell Houston Open was yet another example of the unpredictability and strength in depth of the professional game.
Prior to the Shell Houston Open, 38-year-old Herman had never finished in the top three of a PGA Tour event in 105 starts. He’d only managed five top-10s. And yet the man ranked 189th in the world was able to hold off the likes of Henrik Stenson, Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth to win his first PGA Tour event.
“Never thought it was possible,” said a tearful Herman, whose victory catapulted him to 68th in the world.
So what does Donald Trump have to do with it?
Several years ago, Herman was working as an assistant pro at Trump National Bedminster in New Jersey.
“Why are you folding shirts and giving lessons?” Trump asked him one day, having seen him in action. “Why aren’t you on the tour? I’ve played with tour players. You’re good enough.”
Clearly, in this instance, Trump was right.
Herman’s victory earnt him a last-minute invite to the Masters, which will be the first time he’s played in the event. His only previous major appearances were in the US Open, resulting in a T-47 finish in 2010 and T-67 in 2013. He’s currently available at 500/1 to win the green jacket.
“It’s a whirlwind,” said Herman. “This is crazy and I’m going to enjoy it. We’ll get our daughter out of school and they’ll be up at Augusta next week.”