While most of the golf world’s attention was focused on the Open Championship Sunday, Jim Herman won the Barbasol Championship in Kentucky. It was quite the triumph for Herman, who had missed cuts in 16 of the previous 19 tournaments he’d played this year. And he made sure to thank one playing partner for inspiration: President Donald Trump.
“Playing golf with the president, he motivates me,” said Herman, a former assistant pro at Trump National in Bedminster, N.J. “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."
Herman played golf with Trump two weeks ago, and Trump recommended Herman switch to a conventional putting grip. Strangely enough, it was the second time Herman had played with Trump and proceeded to win two weeks later; he captured the 2016 Shell Houston Open after a Trump round.
Rain delayed the final round of the tournament. Herman had to overcome both the weather and Kelly Kraft, who led by one stroke with three holes left. But Kraft bogeyed 16 and 17 while Herman parred his way in and won with a tap-in par.
Herman now has a two-year PGA Tour exemption and an invitation to next year’s PGA Championship.
“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.”
Trump called Herman on Friday night and offered a pep talk. “That was very unexpected to hear from him directly on Friday night,” Herman said. “I got a phone call from him wishing me on for the weekend and congratulating me on my first two rounds. It’s pretty amazing I’ve had this relationship with him. I’m very fortunate I get to play a little golf with him.”
More from Yahoo Sports: