Herman prepares to watch 'the boss' become POTUS

By Rex HoggardJanuary 18, 2017, 5:32 pm

It was early in the 2006 season at Trump National Bedminster (N.J.) when Mickie Gallagher walked into the club’s posh pro shop and told Jim Herman to lace up his golf shoes.

“You’re going to get to play with the boss,” Gallagher said.

The “boss” is now two days away from a new title – Leader of the Free World – but on that spring day in ’06, Donald J. Trump was just a competitor. It was perhaps the only time the president-elect didn’t claim Herman as his partner, and the future PGA Tour member won that day’s game.

Trump wouldn’t make that mistake again.

Herman, who was an assistant at Trump National at the time, would become the “boss’” regular partner and much more. The real estate-mogul-turned-politician would offer Herman advice, encouragement and eventually well-deserved congratulations.

“It was getting late in my career, just to get that added confidence boost was huge,” Herman said of his time with Trump.

On Friday, Herman will join thousands of Trump supporters and friends at the 58th Presidential Inauguration in Washington, D.C.

“I don’t know what to expect,” Herman said with a smile, “never been to one. Seen it on TV a bunch of times, but I’m very excited.”

No president has ever been so closely tied to golf than Trump, whose portfolio currently includes 15 complexes, and no professional golfer is as close to Trump as Herman.

Herman explains it was a “team” that helped guide him from the pro shop at Bedminster to the PGA Tour, and that Trump was an important part of that collective. Even after the 39-year-old earned his Tour card in 2011, he remained Trump’s regular partner including last month just weeks after the election.

“It was different,” Herman said of the round on Dec. 22 at Trump International in Palm Beach, Fla. “A lot more Secret Service [agents], but just a different feeling. He’s the president-elect and he was only three weeks away from the inauguration. I’ve been around him a lot and I’ve always enjoyed being around him, but this time was just a little different.”

Different than say the round the duo played in April or last summer just as the campaign was heating up, or the dozen of times the president-elect teamed with the now-Tour winner. But if the vibe was different post-election, Trump remained the “boss.”

Herman describes Trump as a serious competitor on the golf course with a sublime putting stroke and a keen sense of humor, and he added that their matches are for pride not money.

“His game has not changed a whole lot, he’s not playing a bunch but he’s a great driver of the golf ball and a great putter, in between he needs to work on it,” he said.

Herman also provided some insight into the incoming Chief Executive’s leadership style.

“Anytime I was around him he was very supportive, it’s a different industry than he’s used to working in but he’s jumped into golf full steam ahead,” Herman said. “He’s very loyal to his employees, you’ll see a lot of his employees are there for a lifetime. He’s extremely loyal.”

This loyalty was on display last April when Trump reached out to Herman, via a message from Gallagher, just days after he’d won his first Tour title at the Shell Houston Open. By the time Herman returned home to Florida he had numerous notes from Trump.

“He’s very good at getting his word to you,” Herman said. “Usually, he’ll take an article that’s written about you and he’ll write something on it and get it in the mail right away. I’ve got a bunch of those at home.”

Many consider a Trump presidency to be a potential boon for golf given his connection to the game. His facility in Bedminster is scheduled to host the 2022 PGA Championship and the 2017 U.S. Women’s Open, and until this year Trump National Doral was a regular Tour stop and new commissioner Jay Monahan said earlier this month that, “we’re committed to finding a way to get back there [south Florida].”

Having a leader in the White House who is as closely linked to the game can only be good for golf, Herman figures.

“It will just bring people to the game, hopefully,” he said. “He’s great for the game of golf, and I hope we’re at some more of his venues because they are pretty good.”

Herman has played this week’s CareerBuilder Challenge each of the last three seasons, but he’ll miss the circuit’s first mainland stop of the year. Instead, he’ll fly to New Jersey on Thursday morning and he and Gallagher will drive down to the inauguration together that evening.

“I don’t know what the emotions will be,” he admitted.

The president-elect is many things to many people, but for Herman Trump is a friend, advocate, regular golf partner, and now – POTUS.

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Wie has hand surgery, out for rest of 2018

By Randall MellOctober 18, 2018, 9:43 pm

Michelle Wie will miss the rest of this season after undergoing surgery Thursday to fix injuries that have plagued her right hand in the second half of this year.

Wie announced in an Instagram post that three ailments have been causing the pain in her hand: an avulsion fracture, bone spurs and nerve entrapment.

An avulsion fracture is an injury to the bone where it attaches to a ligament or tendon.

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I think John Mayer once said, “Someday, everything will make perfect sense. So for now, laugh at the confusion, smile through the tears, be strong and keep reminding yourself that everything happens for a reason.” A lot of people have been asking me what’s been going on with my hand and I haven’t shared much, because I wasn’t sure what was going on myself. After countless MRI’s, X-rays, CT scans, and doctor consultations, I was diagnosed with having a small Avulsion Fracture, bone spurring, and nerve entrapment in my right hand. After 3 cortisone injections and some rest following the British Open, we were hoping it was going to be enough to grind through the rest of the season, but it just wasn’t enough to get me through. So I made the decision after Hana Bank to withdraw from the rest of the season, come back to the states, and get surgery to fix these issues. It’s been disheartening dealing with pain in my hand all year but hopefully I am finally on the path to being and STAYING pain free! Happy to announce that surgery was a success today and I cannot wait to start my rehab so that I can come back stronger and healthier than ever. Huge thank you to Dr. Weiland’s team at HSS for taking great care of me throughout this process and to all my fans for your unwavering support. It truly means the world to me. I’ll be back soon guys!!!! Promise

A post shared by Michelle Wie (@themichellewie) on

Dr. Andrew Weiland, an attending orthopedic surgeon at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, performed the procedure.

“It’s been disheartening dealing with pain in my hand all year, but, hopefully, I am finally on the path to being and staying pain free,” Wie wrote.

Wie withdrew during the first round of the Ricoh Women’s British Open with the hand injury on Aug. 2 and didn’t play again until teeing it up at the UL International Crown two weeks ago and the KEB Hana Bank Championship last week. She played those events with what she hoped was a new “pain-free swing,” one modeled after Steve Stricker, with more passive hands and wrists. She went 1-3 at the UL Crown and tied for 59th in the limited field Hana Bank.

“After 3 cortisone injections and some rest following the British Open, we were hoping it was going to be enough to grind through the rest of the season, but it just wasn’t enough to get me through,” she wrote.

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Wie, who just turned 29 last week, started the year saying her top goal was to try to stay injury free. She won the HSBC Women’s World Championship in March, but her goal seemed doomed with a diagnosis of arthritis in both wrists before the year even started.

Over the last few years, Wie has dealt with neck, back, hip, knee and ankle injuries. Plus, there was an emergency appendectomy that knocked her out of action for more than a month late last season. Her wrists have been an issue going back to early in her career.

“I don’t think there is one joint or bone in her body that hasn’t had some sort of injury or issue,” Wie’s long-time swing coach, David Leadbetter, said earlier this year.

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Woods receives his Tour Championship trophy

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 18, 2018, 8:57 pm

We all know the feeling of giddily anticipating something in the mail. But it's doubtful that any of us ever received anything as cool as what recently showed up at Tiger Woods' Florida digs.

This was Woods' prize for winning the Tour Championship. It's a replica of "Calamity Jane," Bobby Jones' famous putter. Do we even need to point out that the Tour Championship is played at East Lake, the Atlanta course where Jones was introduced to the game.

Woods broke a victory drought of more than five years by winning the Tour Championhip. It was his 80th PGA Tour win, leaving him just two shy of Sam Snead's all-time record.

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Garcia 2 back in storm-halted Andalucia Masters

By Associated PressOctober 18, 2018, 7:08 pm

SOTOGRANDE, Spain  -- Ashley Chesters was leading on 5-under 66 at the Andalucia Valderrama Masters when play was suspended because of darkness with 60 golfers yet to complete their weather-hit first rounds on Thursday.

More than four hours was lost as play was twice suspended because of stormy conditions and the threat of lightning at the Real Club Valderrama in southern Spain.

Full-field scores from the Andalucia Valderrama Masters

English journeyman Chesters collected six birdies and one bogey to take a one-shot lead over Gregory Bourdy of France. Tournament host and defending champion Sergio Garcia was on 68 along with fellow Spaniards Alvaro Quiros and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, and Australia's Jason Scrivener.

''It's a shame I can't keep going because the last few holes were the best I played all day. Considering all the delays and everything, I'm very happy with 5 under,'' Chesters said. ''The forecast for the rest of the week is not very good either so I thought I'll just make as many birdies as I can and get in.''

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Caddies drop lawsuit; Tour increases healthcare stipend

By Rex HoggardOctober 18, 2018, 3:33 pm

After nearly four years of litigation, a group of PGA Tour caddies have dropped their lawsuit against the circuit.

The lawsuit, which was filed in California in early 2015, centered on the bibs caddies wear during tournaments and ongoing attempts by the caddies to improve their healthcare and retirement options.

The caddies lost their class-action lawsuit in U.S. District Court and an appeal this year.

Separately, the Association of Professional Tour Caddies, which was not involved in the lawsuit but represents the caddies to the Tour, began negotiating with the circuit last year.

“I told the guys, if we really want a healthy working relationship with the Tour, we need to fix this and open the lines of communication,” said Scott Sajtinac, the president of the APTC.

In January 2017, Jay Monahan took over as commissioner of the Tour and began working with the APTC to find a solution to the healthcare issue. Sajtinac said the Tour has agreed to increase the stipend it gives caddies for healthcare beginning next year.

“It took a year and a half, but it turned out to be a good result,” Sajtinac said. “Our goal is to close that window for the guys because healthcare is such a massive chunk of our income.”

In a statement released by the Tour, officials pointed out the lawsuit and the “potential increase to the longtime caddie healthcare subsidy” are two separate issues.

“Although these two items have been reported together, they are not connected. The PGA Tour looks forward to continuing to support the caddies in the important role they play in the success of our members,” the statement said.

Caddies have received a stipend from the Tour for healthcare for some time, and although Sajtinac wouldn’t give the exact increase, he said it was over 300 percent. Along with the APTC’s ability to now negotiate healthcare plans as a group, the new stipend should dramatically reduce healthcare costs for caddies.

“It’s been really good,” said Sajtinac, who did add that there are currently no talks with the Tour to created a retirement program for caddies. “Everybody is really excited about this.”