Brian Harman’s first Open came at Royal Liverpool in 2014 courtesy of a win at the John Deere, now he’s in double figures under par and leading the Championship. The 36-year-old had a flawless round, with four straight birdies from the 2nd and then capping it all off with a closing eagle, all of which added up to a 65.
In the middle of all that there were some memorable par saves, most notably at the 12th when he had to play his second shot backwards from sand before chipping in for a four. At the 18th he put together his two best swings of the day – a driver and 5-iron – before rolling in a 15-foot putt.
"In 2014 I had the 4.45 tee time on Friday, finished at 10.15, made the cut, loved the golf. I was really excited and I missed four cuts in a row and I couldn't figure out why I wasn't playing well," explained the left-hander.
"Then last couple years I had some good finishes and just kind of felt like, all right, now at least I feel like I love the golf and I'm playing decently over here. I was excited to come for the Scottish Open the last couple years to try and get over and get adjusted and get ready, so I think that's helped."
Aside from his two wins on the PGA Tour Harman’s biggest claim to fame is leading the US Open after 54 holes at Erin Hills in 2017. Then he closed with a 72 to share second with Hideki Matsuyama as Brooks Koepka broke his Major duck. That was also the year that Harman last won, at the Wells Fargo Championship.
“I think about it a lot, obviously. I'm around the lead a bunch. It's been hard to stay patient. I felt that after I won the tournament and had the really good chance at the US Open that I would probably pop a few more off. I've been right there, and it just hasn't happened. I don't know why it hasn't happened but I'm not going to quit. I'm going to stick with it and just keep after it, and hopefully it'll pop one day.”
So far Harman has picked up eight shots on the field with his putter. After two days he’s holed over 260 feet which puts him at the top of the putting stats.
“There was a time in the middle of this year where we were seriously thinking about going to the bullpen and pulling out something different. It's been a good putter but she's been misbehaving a lot this year. Last few weeks I found a little something on the greens that I felt like gave me a little better roll. I had one really nice day of putting at the US Open and then the following weeks I putted really nice. Just trying to maintain that. Just good fundamentals and putting a good roll on it.”
Harman will have another late tee time at Hoylake but this time it will come on a Saturday.
“I’m just not trying to get too caught up in it. It's just golf. I think when I held the 54-hole lead at the US Open, I just probably thought about it too much. Just didn't focus on getting sleep and eating right. So that would be my focus this weekend.”
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Mark has worked in golf for over 20 years having started off his journalistic life at the Press Association and BBC Sport before moving to Sky Sports where he became their golf editor on skysports.com. He then worked at National Club Golfer and Lady Golfer where he was the deputy editor and he has interviewed many of the leading names in the game, both male and female, ghosted columns for the likes of Robert Rock, Charley Hull and Dame Laura Davies, as well as playing the vast majority of our Top 100 GB&I courses. He loves links golf with a particular love of Royal Dornoch and Kingsbarns. He is now a freelance, also working for the PGA and Robert Rock. Loves tour golf, both men and women and he remains the long-standing owner of an horrific short game. He plays at Moortown with a handicap of 6.
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