Who is Justin Harding?

Who is Justin harding?
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With a solid showing at the 2019 Open at Royal Portrush, Neil Tappin asks who is Justin Harding?

For many golf fans the name Justin Harding is unfamiliar but the South African has moved serenely into contention at the 2019 Open Championship. His strong pedigree in the game would suggest he is capable of a shock here at Portrush but Who is Justin Harding?

Since turning professional in 2010 (off a handicap of plus 6), the 33 year-old from Cape Town has become a prolific winner around the world. His grounding within the paid ranks came on the Sunshine Tour where he won seven events between 2010 and 2018.

He then played on the Asian Tour and quickly racked up two more wins in Indonesia and Thailand, also both in 2018.

Open Championship Weather Forecast

With the second of these wins he moved inside the world’s top 100.

The South African is clearly not afraid of winning because in March of this year he captured the Qatar Masters on the European Tour. He beat a collection of nine players by two shots to claim the 259,000 euro winner’s cheque. With that win, Harding progressed to 52nd in the world and gained an invaluable invite to the Masters.

Royal Portrush Course Guide

Indeed, it was at Augusta National in April that Harding came into view for the first time for many golf fans who then began to ask 'who is Justin Harding?'. The 33 year-old finished tied for 12th and for a period actually led the event.

Since that impressive Augusta debut, Harding's form has somewhat fallen away. Indeed, heading into this year's Open Championship, he had missed three cuts in a row at the US Open, Irish Open and Scottish Open. Something however has clearly clicked however and with his second round 65, his very best form seemed to return.

If you are looking for an outsider to back at Royal Portrush, Harding, who at the end of 2017 was ranked 712th in the world, might be a good option.

Neil Tappin
Digital Editor

In his current role, Neil is responsible for testing drivers and golf balls. Having been a part of the Golf Monthly team for over 15 years and playing off a handicap of 3, he has the experience to compare performance between models, brands and generations. For 2022 he thinks the main trend in drivers is: "In a word, consistency. Whilst all the brands are talking about ball speed (and the new drivers are certainly long), my biggest finding has been how much more consistent the ball flights are. Mishits don't seem to be causing the same level of drop-off or increase in the spin numbers. This means that more shots seem to be flying the way you want them to!" As far as golf balls are concerned the biggest development is in the, "three piece, non-Tour, urethane-covered section. For regular golfers, these models offer superb performance at both ends of the bag without denting your wallet quite as much as the premium Tour-played options."

Originally working with the best coaches in the UK to produce instruction content, he is now the brand's Digital Editor and covers everything from Tour player interviews to gear reviews. In his time at Golf Monthly, he has covered equipment launches that date back well over a decade. He clearly remembers the launch of the Callaway and Nike square drivers as well as the white TaylorMade driver families, such as the RocketBallz! If you take a look at the Golf Monthly YouTube channel, you'll see his equipment videos dating back over a decade! He has also conducted 'What's In The Bag' interviews with many of the game's best players like Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson and Jon Rahm. Over the years, Neil has tested a vast array of products in each category and at drastically different price-points. 

Neil is currently playing: Driver: TaylorMade Stealth Plus Fairway Wood: Titleist TSi2 Hybrid: Titleist TS3 Irons (4-9): Mizuno JPX 919 Forged Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 46˚, 50˚, 54˚, 60˚ Putter: Odyssey Triple Track Ten Ball: Titleist Pro V1X