Herman fires 62 to maintain 1-shot Barbasol lead
NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. — Jim Herman needed to shoot a 10-under-par 62 Saturday, Jul;y 20, to maintain a one-stroke lead after three rounds of the Barbasol Championship.
That's because his lead at 24-under 192, which tied the low opening 54-hole score of the season, was threatened by Kelly Kraft, the native of Denton, Texas, who broke the Keene TraceGolf Club course record Saturday with an 11-under 61.
The 30-year-old Kraft, whose runner-up effort at The Greenbrier in 2018 has been his best finish on the PGA Tour, had a bogey-free round Saturday that included six birdies on the front nine and three back-nine birdies, along with an eagle on the par-5 15th hole thank to a 64-foot putt.
Herman, a 41-year-old Cincinnati native who is looking for his first top-10 finish of the season, also set the Barbasol Championship's 54-hole scoring mark. He eagled the par-5 eighth hole and also the 15th to go along with six birdies in a bogey-free round.
He is crediting some of his success to none other than President Donald Trump, his former employer at Trump National in Bedminster, N.J. According to an article Friday at PGATour.com, Herman and Trump played recently, and the pro received some advice from the president.
"He gave me a good talking to and told me to use a different style if it's not working," said Herman, who decided to change his grip and style of putter. "... He gave me a little quick tip and get some conventional putting going and see what happens."
After a terrible week of putting at the John Deere Classic last week, Herman said, "I had nothing else to lose. I had to change something up. That was his main advice: If it's not working, change it. Put a lot of time in on the putting green this last week with the new style and new grip. It's just rolling the ball nicely."
The last time Herman led going into the final round of a PGA tournament, he went on to win the Houston Open in 2016, his only tour victory so far.
Tied for third are Austin Cook (63 on Saturday) and Bill Haas (65) at 20 under. Haas, a six-time winner on the PGA Tour, has made only one bogey through the first three rounds.
Cook, seeking his second PGA Tour victory, made five consecutive birdies on the back nine (Nos. 13-17) Saturday, and has four eagles this week, a personal best. The 90 eagles made by the players this week are the most in a PGA Tour event this season.
Three players are tied for fifth at 17 under.
With inclement weather in the forecast for Sunday afternoon, the finish time has been moved from 7 p.m. to 5 p.m.