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Journeyman Jim Herman wins the Shell Houston Open


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This will go down as one of the most romantic wins of 2016 as Jim Herman booked a trip to Augusta National with his first victory on Tour.

The 38-year-old, who won once on the Web.com Tour in 118 starts, took just 106 tournaments to get off the mark with a sensational display of nerve and poise.

He posted a 68 to finish at 15 under which included three birdies from the 11th and a chip-in at the 16th from beside a greenside bunker. At the 18th, with water left and sand right, he ripped one down the middle, found the middle of the green and calmly two putted.

Previously he had missed three of his past five cuts and he was 191st in the world coming into the week but he took them all down.

Henrik Stenson will head to Augusta with an impressive weekend’s play, adding a 68 to his Saturday 66.

The Swede has still not won since Dubai in November 2014 and he had a chance to pile on the pressure at the 72nd hole but his putt broke the other way. Stenson, though, should be confident enough ahead of the Masters after yet another rock-solid week.

Dustin Johnson also had the ideal build-up with third place on his own. Johnson had a closing 69 which included a double bogey at the 11th.

Rafa Cabrera-Bello threatened for part of the day to claim an unexpected first win on the PGA Tour.

Starting the day in 15th spot he birdied four of the first six holes, then drove the green at the 12th and capitalised with the eagle putt and followed it up with another birdie.

The Spaniard eventually finished three shots shy.

What Herman said: “I cried on my wife's shoulder at dinner one night right before the Web Finals two years ago. I didn't keep my card and I had to go to the Web Finals, and it was pretty low. But you know, I had to get help. That was it. Probably the same reason I couldn't get to the Tour, went through Q-School seven times, you know, couldn't make -- couldn't get through second stage.

“Now I've got an 8:42 flight night to Fort Lauderdale. Lands at midnight. I don't think I'm going to make that. I don't think I'll be going home tonight. So, yeah, it's going to be interesting to see how this all works. You're asking about the last ticket to Augusta, you know, maybe it would be nice to win right after Augusta then you can plan it for the whole year. This is unreal.”



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