Herman fires 62 to take charge
Jim Herman was persuaded to play the Valspar Championship in Palm Harbor, Fla., by an influential acquaintance, and he made it pay off yesterday with a 9-under 62 for a 2-shot first-round lead.
Herman wasn’t getting much out of his game — three missed cuts and a tie for 27th — when he played the Seminole Pro-Member the day after the Honda Classic. Jack Welch, the former chairman of General Electric, came along for nine holes and urged him to keep playing.
Yesterday, Herman putted for birdie on all but two holes, and except for a 35-foot putt from the fringe on No. 10, the rest of his birdie putts were from 15 feet or close. He only came close to bogey once, making an 8-foot par save on No. 2.
He wound up missing the course record by 1 shot, but still held a 2-shot lead over British Open champion Henrik Stenson and Russell Henley.
The first round did not finish after a one-hour fog delay.
Herman, of course, is most famous for his relationship with President Donald Trump. He took a job as an assistant pro at Trump National in New Jersey, and Trump encouraged him to give the PGA Tour another attempt.
He eventually made it, and picked up his first PGA Tour victory last year at the Shell Houston Open. Herman still has an endorsement deal with Trump, and has the Trump golf logo on the crest of his shirt and on his golf bag.
Herman has only one top 10 since his victory in Houston and slipped to No.?89 in the world.
This was only a start, and looming behind him is Stenson. The Swede tied for fourth here in 2015 and tied for 11th last year. Seamus Power of Ireland had a 66, and Charles Howell III was in the group at 67.
Despite a double-bogey on the first hole, Matteo Manassero ended up in the lead after a 4-under 68 in the first round of the Indian Open in New Delhi. The four-time European Tour winner from Italy finished with seven birdies.
David Horsey was at 5-under after 15 holes, one of the dozens who did not finish because of lightning.