The Shell Houston Open gave us all a surprise heading into Masters Week, Jim Herman will be playing at Augusta for the first time in his PGA Tour career. The 38 year old journeyman held off a few big names Sunday afternoon in Texas to get the last invite to the Masters.
“Sorry for the tears, but I’m pretty happy,” Herman said in his TV interview. “We really did a good job keeping our game plan. We wanted to give ourselves as many birdie chances as we could and keep it low stress. And geez, look what happened. Never thought it was possible.”(AP)
Jim Herman came into the week as the 191th ranked player in the Official World Golf Rankings. He was ranked 93rd in the FedEx Cup Standings. The victory moved him up 75 spots to No. 18, one spot ahead of Phil Mickelson.
This was also the first time Herman has held the 54-hole lead in a PGA event. He started the day tied with Jamie Lovemark. Lovemark crumbled right out of the gate with 4 bogeys in his first 6 holes and was never heard from again.
Henrik Stenson played bridesmaid once again this week. He had an 18-foot birdie putt that would have tied him with Herman at -15 but he missed just right of the hole. It is his 8th 2nd place finish since his last victory in 2014.
Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth both made runs at Herman. Spieth played well early but let double-bogeys derail him. DJ had a double of his own on the 11th and 3 birdies after that were not quite enough as he finished 2 shots back at -13.
Herman and Stenson were tied as Herman played the par 3 16th hole. He chipped in for a birdie 2 from shot left of the green. That was the final boost he needed as he parred the 71st and 72nd holes to hold on for the win.
Of course now all the focus turns to Augusta National and the Masters. The first major championship of the year and probably the best. There are many storylines this year to pay attention to.
All eyes will be on defending champ, Jordan Spieth to see if he can defend his title. Can Jason Day, the new No.1 player in the OWGRs win back-to-back majors? Bubba Watson will be looking for green jacket number three. Can Rory McIlroy get the final leg of the Grand Slam with a win this week?
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