Jim Herman is heading to the Masters after earning his first career PGA Tour victory at the Houston Open.
The 38-year-old ranked 191st in the world held off Henrik Stenson and Dustin Johnson on Sunday with a 68 to finish 15 under for the tournament. Herman never showed any nerves on Sunday playing from the front for the first time in a final round, with just one bogey on the card and a blemish free back nine 33.
Herman was extremely emotional after his win as one would expect considering the road he's taken to get to this point. What was most impressive about his play on Sunday was how composed he was throughout his round.
Herman saved his longest drive of the week for the 18th hole, which is guarded by water left and a bunker right, and he found the middle of the fairway with a 316 yard drive. He played tremendous golf down the stretch and took advantage of good breaks when they came his way, including a crucial chip-in birdie on the 16th after his approach stayed out of the bunker.
Henrik Stenson recorded his eighth second-place finish since his last PGA Tour victory and while he's certainly tired of being the runner-up, he has to be pleased with his form heading to Augusta. Stenson will carry plenty of momentum with him to the Masters after his final round 68, and that nuclear 3-wood of his should come in handy at Augusta National.
Dustin Johnson, like Stenson, should feel good about his all-around game going into Masters week. Despite an average day on the greens on Sunday, he led the field in strokes gained putting this week at 8.763, which is a dramatic improvement from where he ranks on the season at 92nd on Tour. Johnson's chances at the win on Sunday were derailed by a double bogey on the 11th, but his play, particularly on the greens, should have him confident about his chances at the Masters.
Jordan Spieth opened his final round with five birdies in the first seven holes and got himself to as low as 10 under on the tournament. However, a run of three birdies in four holes in the middle of his round effectively ended his chances on Sunday as he finished in T13. Spieth has had issues putting together four straight quality rounds over the past two months and this week was no different. After a 67 on Thursday, he stumbled to a 73 on Friday and then posted two solid 70s on the weekend.
Rickie Fowler was not talked about much this week, but he put together a very steady 69-70-70-70 (9 under) for a T10 finish. Fowler can carry positive thoughts with him to Augusta National as he searches for his first career major title.