AUGUSTA, Ga. – He arrived just past noon, dressed in a suit jacket because, well, it was an occasion.
Less than 24 hours after putting the finishing touches on a life-changing victory on Sunday at the Shell Houston Open, Jim Herman made his way through the players parking lot at Augusta National with what can only be described as a perma-smile.
Herman’s one-stroke victory over Henrik Stenson in Houston secured the journeyman’s first Masters invitation. He admitted there was little sleep Sunday night as he mulled the week to come.
Although this is Herman’s first chance to play the Masters, it’s not his first time on the property.
In 2008, shortly after earning his status on the Web.com Tour, Herman attended the Masters on Saturday as a patron; and last November he played the course with a member with an eye toward someday earning a spot in the Masters.
“It was just a spectacular day. The weather was perfect. It was everything I imagined,” Herman said on Monday. “Obviously now, it's tournament week, it's going to be a total 180 from anything I was able to experience on the outside or even in that one round. It's just going to be awesome. I can't wait.”
For Herman, the Masters has been a distant dream for some time, and even on Monday with his player’s badge attached to his collar the 38-year-old was still trying to fully grasp the situation.
“I feel like maybe I'm going to wake up and I'm going to still be on maybe Saturday night going into the final round again and I haven't done it yet,” he smiled. “But I don't think that's happening. I think we're here. Can't wait to get started.”