Trump interrupts campaign to keep tabs on Herman

By Associated PressApril 5, 2016, 1:21 am

AUGUSTA, Ga. - An invitation to the Masters might be only the second-best offer Jim Herman got this week.

Less than 24 hours afterJim Herman won the Shell Open, Donald J. Trump joked that Herman, a former assistant golf pro at one of his resorts, might be considered for a cabinet-level post in a new Trump administration.

''That's a character - the kind of character - you want. Somebody who can handle the pressure,'' Trump told The Associated Press in a telephone interview Monday between campaign stops in Wisconsin.

The GOP presidential front-runner was laughing, but dead-serious when he added, ''I'm very happy and proud to have helped him out.''

The self-taught scrambler who wouldn't give up the game and the mogul with a love for golf first came together in 2006. Mickie Gallagher, a mutual friend and the head pro at Trump National in Bedminster, New Jersey, hired Herman as one of his assistants. Soon enough, Herman got a call that the boss was headed over to play and wanted him to join the foursome.

''I don't know what it is; when I play with him, I usually play pretty well,'' Herman recalled Monday. ''But yeah, he's been a big supporter of mine. He helped me early on in my years financially and maybe just a little shot in the arm of confidence.''

Trump said spotting that kind of talent was a no-brainer, especially as far as Herman hit his tee shots. He backed up his claim by staking the then-struggling 28-year-old to enough money to take a shot on the Web.com Tour


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''I play with many people. Lots of them think they're going to be pros, but you and I know that's not usually the case,'' Trump said.

''He'd shoot really low rounds when we played and ... I'd ask him after a round, 'Where are you going after this?' And he'd say 'I'm giving somebody a lesson,''' Trump added. ''I'd say, 'You got to give it (professional golf) a shot. You got a real chance to be something special.'''

Herman had tried pro golf for the first time in 2000, but he struggled on the Florida mini-tours and moved into the golf shop in 2004 in search of a steady paycheck. He gave lessons and sold clubs and clothes.

But with Trump's stake, Herman finally advanced far enough through Q-School to earn a Web.com Tour spot in 2008. He played 114 events and finally won one. He moved up to the PGA Tour in 2011, but was 0-for-106 tournaments until Sunday. On the 72nd green at the Shell Open, Herman, 38, needed a two-putt from 20 feet for a win, a two-year tour exemption and the Masters invitation.

His former boss was in Wisconsin when he learned Herman was in contention. He immediately ordered the channel changed to NBC.

''I mean those guys aren't pushovers, so it was great to see him going down the last fairway,'' Trump recalled. ''That last drive, the last three shots, that wasn't an easy two-putt, it's up on a hill and something like 20 feet.

''But he did great,'' he added. ''I'm not surprised.''

Herman, despite being ranked 191st in the world at that moment, was surprisingly calm. It wasn't until he'd sealed the deal that he let his emotions show. But there was a hint how much he wanted the win at No. 16, where he chipped in for birdie, turning what had been a weakness - his short game - into a strength and pumping his fists.

It turned the rest of his schedule topsy-turvy.

''Yeah, I was planning on watching, I really enjoy watching the Masters,'' he joked. ''I've been a fan of golf my whole life, dreaming of playing here and now it's happened. I was planning on flying home last night, and I was going to get home at midnight, see my kids this morning, take my daughter to school and that's obviously changed.''

With most of the rest of his family scrambling to get here ahead of Thursday's start, Herman has plenty of planning and practicing to do before teeing off Thursday. He's played Augusta National just once - his agent set up a round with a member in November - and he carded a 1-under 71.

Herman's last confidence-boosting round with his old boss was a few days before Easter. Herman still wears the Trump Golf crest on his shirt and bag.

''Had another really good round with him,'' Herman said.

One thing that won't change, though, is the ball markers that Herman uses on the greens. Steven Wyder, a friend and high school teacher back in Florida, sends Herman a number of presidential dollar gold coins to use, depending on where he's playing.

''I'm expecting we'll probably have President Eisenhower (a member of Augusta National) this week,'' Herman chuckled.

Any chance he'll return next year with a Trump marker?

''He's doing great in what he's doing now,'' Herman said, ''and we'll see how far that goes.''

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

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Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.


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Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.


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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

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