(Reuters) - Jim Herman played with precision to make a president proud, matching his career-best score on the PGA Tour with a 10-under-par 62 in the third round at the Barbasol Championship in Kentucky on Saturday.
Buoyed by a Friday night phone call from U.S. President Donald Trump, Herman wielded a hot putter at Keene Trace in Nicholasville, reeling off two eagles and six birdies in a flawless performance.
He posted a 24-under 192 total and will go into Sunday’s final round one shot ahead of fellow American Kelly Kraft (61).
Herman used to be an assistant pro at Trump National in New Jersey, and has known the president for years.
“The president of the United States called me and wished me good luck today and congratulated me on a couple of good rounds the first two days here,” Herman said.
“Pretty interesting getting a phone call from the president.”
Herman, winner of the 2016 Houston Open, played a round with Trump recently, and the president noticed his mediocre putting.
“I wasn’t really making anything,” Herman said.
“He always has some good advice for me ... He gave me a good talking to and told me to use a different style if it’s not working.”
Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Toby Davis