For a guy who wasn’t even supposed to be here, Jim Herman did quite well for himself on Day One of the Valspar Championship. After starting the season by missing three cuts and tying for 27th, Herman fired a 9-under 62 to take a two-stroke lead on Thursday.
“Had a really good day there, and got urged on from Jack Welch — he’s a member there — to play here,” Herman said. “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.”
He missed the course record by one shot but more importantly leads Russell Henley and Henrik Stenson by two strokes.
Stenson, who has played very well so far this season without an actual win, went to his irons on nearly every hole while other players were hitting their drivers.
The strategy paid off perfectly,with Stenson recording a bogey-free 7-under 64.
When the putter feels good and the short game is in good shape, a lot of times I see it more as guaranteeing having a second shot into the green, even if it’s a longer club,” Stenson said. “That’s what I’ve done around here the previous two times, and it’s worked out fine.”