Herman rides Trump’s putting advice to victory in Kentucky

Herman rides Trump’s putting advice to victory in Kentucky
Jim Herman rode President Donald Trump's putting advice to victory in the PGA Tour's Barbasol Championship (Source: WMC Action News 5)

NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. (AP) — From President Donald Trump to playing partner Kelly Kraft, Jim Herman got the help he needed to win his second PGA Tour title.

Taking advantage of Trump's putting advice and Kraft's two late bogeys, Herman edged Kraft by a stroke Sunday in the Barbasol Championship.

Trump's regular golf partner while working as an assistant professional at Trump National Bedminster in New Jersey, Herman changed to a conventional putting grip and clubhead at the president's suggestion following a recent round. Encouraged by Trump to pursue a playing career, the 41-year-old Herman won the 2016 Shell Houston Open for his lone tour title — a victory that also followed a friendly round with Trump.

"I think I need to see him again soon," Herman said on the 18th green after his winning tap-in par. "He motivates me and puts me in a good spot."

Herman finished with a 2-under 70 at Keene Trace in the round interrupted for over three hours because of rain. The putter cooled off a bit after Herman opened with rounds of 65, 65 and 62, but he did just enough to beat Kraft.

A shot ahead with three to play, Kraft bogeyed the par-3 16th and par-4 17th. He followed a third-round 61 with a 70.

"I just didn't have my best stuff today, but I had it going there — made a couple birdies, 14, 15," Kraft said. "I just gave it to him coming down the stretch, that's basically all there is to it."

Herman finished at 26-under 262. He received a spot in the PGA Championship, but not in the Masters.

Sepp Straka was a career-best third at 23 under after a 66.

Matt Jones (63) and Austin Cook (70) followed at 22 under. Cook had a tour-record five birdies in the event.