Herman flirts with record round at Pebble

Jim Herman during the 2010 Stadion Athens Classic.


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PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – Could someone make a Sunday charge at Pebble Beach? Jim Herman’s round would seem to say so.

Herman, playing in the day’s second group, was 6-under par through 15 holes Sunday before playing his final three holes 3 over to shoot 68. With a birdie on 18, Herman would’ve matched the record for lowest round in a U.S. Open at Pebble. Tiger Woods shot 65 in the first round in 2000.

Instead, Herman pulled his tee shot into the water on the final hole en route to double bogey.

“It was just a great day,” Herman said. “I definitely thought about (shooting 65) on 18. That’s why I hit driver. I was trying to make birdie.”

After a bogey on No. 2, Herman made eagles on Nos. 4 and 6, and birdies on Nos. 7, 9 and 14. He eagled the par-4 fourth after hitting a driver 5 feet from the hole. He hit 3-iron to 8 feet to eagle the par-5 sixth hole.

Herman won the Nationwide Tour’s Moonah Classic earlier this year and is eighth on the tour’s money list.

Bo Van Pelt, playing one group behind Herman, also posted 68. Van Pelt is one of the PGA Tour’s hottest players, having finished in the top 10 in five of six events entering Pebble Beach.

By 1:30 p.m. Pacific time, Herman had already moved up 23 spots on the leaderboard and into a tie for 58th. After making the cut, he shot 81 in the third round. He’ll continue to move up the board as the day progresses.

As the sun comes out, the course will dry out and winds should begin to blow.

Herman’s Nationwide Tour counterpart, Bobby Gates, showed what can happen when posting a decent score early in the day. Gates had to hole a 6-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole to make the U.S. Open cut on the number. He shot even-par 71 Saturday and jumped all the way into a tie for 23rd.

Gates is No. 3 on the Nationwide Tour money list after winning the season-opening event, then finishing third the next week.

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