One week removed from golfing with President Trump, Jim Herman in PGA Championship contention

While preparing for his second career appearance at a PGA Championship, Jim Herman received tips from none other than President Donald Trump.

Herman visited Trump’s National Golf Club in New Jersey last Saturday, and Trump himself just so happened to be spending the day there as well. The two played a practice round before Herman traveled to Charlotte, North Carolina, and now the 39-year-old professional is on the first page of the leaderboard after a 2-under 69 in Round 1.

Coincidence? You decide.

“He was in New Jersey and I was practicing getting ready for this tournament,” Herman said. “He happened to be out there on his little business vacation that he’s on, so I do get to play with the President a few times during the year and I cherish it.”

Herman initially met and became friends with Trump when he was an assistant pro at the course in Bedminster. Trump would later name Herman his frequent golf partner and gave him financial assistance for qualifying school years ago.

After emerging on the Web.com Tour, Herman won his first PGA Tour event on April 3, 2016 at the Shell Houston Open. The win granted him an invitation to the Masters, The Open and PGA Championship in 2016, and this year’s event in Quail Hollow.

Entering the week, the Cincinnati native totaled six top-25 finishes this season, with his best finish (third) coming at the Valspar Championship in March.

“With results like this, you know you can compete at the highest level,” Herman said.

“Winning on the PGA Tour is almost as high as you can get. Winning a major and competing in majors is obviously the next step. I’ve accomplished one of my lifetime goals in winning, but competing in majors is what we always want to do.”

Herman becomes the latest professional athlete to have reportedly played golf with President Trump this year, along with Peyton Manning, Kirk Cousins, Rory McIlroy and Ernie Els, to name a few.