Jim Herman nearly set a course record at the Valspar Championship after shooting a 9-under 62 in his first round. How close did he get? One shot.
Herman was not even going to play at Innisbrook until former General Electric Chairman, Jack Welch, convinced him at the Seminole Pro-Member.
“Had a really good day there, and got urged on from Jack Welch — he’s a member there — to play here,” said Herman about Welch. “I was looking at taking two weeks off, so I was kind of a late commit to this tournament. I guess I’m certainly glad I took his advice.”
Welch was apparently impressed with Herman’s game. Herman expanded on the conversation, saying, “Every hole it was, ‘Why aren’t you playing the Valspar? Why aren’t you playing the Valspar?'”
Whatever Welch saw in Herman seems to have been spot on. Herman racked up nine birdies with no bogeys on the way to the early Valspar lead. Herman sank a magnificent 36-footer for one of those birdies on the 10th from the fringe. He did not have much trouble with the eight other birdie putts as they were all from 15-feet and in.
Russell Henley and Henrik Stenson are just two shots behind Herman at 7-under though, and James Hahn is three back at 6-under. Henley and Stenson had strong opening rounds as well, collecting eight and seven birdies, respectively.
Currently ranked 89th in the world, Herman needs to help his cause with a win if he hopes to play in the Masters again. He’s certainly off to a good start.
Check out Round 1 action below!
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) March 10, 2017
h/t: espn.com, golfweek.com