Jim Herman doesn’t make many cuts but when he does, he makes the most of them.
Herman barely reached the weekend at the Wyndham Championship, needing three late birdies in Friday’s second round to get there, and turned it into one of the most unlikely victories of this unusual PGA Tour season.
The 42-year-old shot 61-63 in his final two rounds at Sedgefield Country Club to win for the second time in 13 months.
For some players, getting two wins in just more than a year isn’t that unusual. For Herman, it speaks to the unpredictable nature of the game.
In the 2018-19 season, Herman missed 16 cuts in 21 starts but he won the Barbasol Championship, salvaging what had been a lost season.
In this pandemic-interrupted season, Herman had missed 11 cuts in 18 starts when he showed up at the Wyndham Championship, figuring he was going to miss out on the FedEx Cup playoffs that begin this week at the Northern Trust at TPC Boston. Herman was 192nd on the points list and needed to finish no worse than T2 to get into the top 125 and keep playing.
So, of course, Herman goes out and wins.
“'It’s tough to put into words what this means,” Herman said after his third PGA Tour victory.
A week earlier, Herman had flamed out at the PGA Championship and arrived in Greensboro, North Carolina, with his expectations meter near empty. Four holes into his first round Herman had not hit a fairway, and he acknowledged it was looking like a quick visit.
“This is getting ridiculous,” Herman said he told his caddie during the first round.
One swing tweak solved his ballstriking issues. Then he started holing putts and never stopped. Now he heads into the playoffs at No. 54 on the points list, virtually assured of advancing to the second week at least.
“It just shows you with golf anything is possible,” Herman said. “Get your attitude right and make a few putts and anything can happen.”
Unlike previous years at the Wyndham Championship, making the top 125 in the final regular season event had a different tenor. Because of the three-month pause in the season, the PGA Tour already had guaranteed players they will retain their tour status for the 2020-21 season, eliminating some of the last-day drama.
Three players – Herman, Zach Johnson and Shane Lowry – played their way into the FedEx Cup playoffs by jumping into the top 125 in points.
Ron Green Jr.