Taking advantage of Trump’s putting advice and Kraft’s two late bogeys, Herman edged Kraft by a stroke Sunday in the Barbasol Championship.
Trump’s regular golf partner while working as an assistant professional at Trump National Bedminster in New Jersey, Herman changed to a conventional putting grip and clubhead at the president’s suggestion following a recent round. Encouraged by Trump to pursue a playing career, the 41-year-old Herman won the 2016 Shell Houston Open for his lone tour title — a victory that also followed a friendly round with Trump.
“I think I need to see him again soon,” Herman said on the 18th green after his winning tap-in par. “He motivates me and puts me in a good spot.”
Herman finished with a 2-under 70 at Keene Trace in the round interrupted for over three hours because of rain. The putter cooled off a bit after Herman opened with rounds of 65, 65 and 62, but he did just enough to beat Kraft.
A shot ahead with three to play, Kraft bogeyed the par-3 16th and par-4 17th. He followed a third-round 61 with a 70.
“I just didn’t have my best stuff today, but I had it going there — made a couple birdies, 14, 15,” Kraft said. “I just gave it to him coming down the stretch, that’s basically all there is to it.”
Herman finished at 26-under 262. He received a spot in the PGA Championship, but not in the Masters.
Sepp Straka was a career-best third at 23 under after a 66.