PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Jim Herman never knows where he’s going to be when he turns around these days.
After a couple weeks unsure how he was going to get into PGA Tour events, Herman found himself atop the leaderboard Thursday at the Honda Classic.
“I don’t recall ever leading,” Herman, 37, said of his four-year PGA Tour career. He is making his 76th career PGA Tour start.
Playing impressively, bogey-free in tough, windy conditions, Herman shot 5-under-par 65, good for the lead with the morning wave finishing up.
Last week, Herman was safely in the Honda Classic field, but with a reshuffle of priority rankings last Friday, he got bumped to second alternate. So, he teed it up in the Monday qualifier at PGA National, only to learn on the fourth tee box that he moved up the alternate list into the field again.
“I’m in, I’m out,” Herman said. “It’s what we deal with.”
Herman, born and raised in Cincinnati, has a PGA Tour career best finish of T-9, at the Sanderson Farms Championship in 2013. He plays out of Trump Jupiter, up the road from PGA National. In fact, he credits Donald Trump with helping him make it on Tour. Herman was once an assistant pro at Trump National in New Jersey and met Trump there.
“Got into a nice conversation with Donald, Mr. Trump, one day,” Herman said. “He’s like, `Why are you folding shirts and giving lessons? Why aren't you on the Tour? I've played with Tour players, you're good enough.’
“I don't know, maybe something like that gives you more confidence. It's nice playing out here. I definitely enjoy it better than the golf shop.”
Herman wears the Trump logo on his shirt and carries it on his bag.
“He’s been influential in getting me to the Tour,” Herman said.