HomeSportsAmerican Harman wins his first major at The Open - UnlistedNews

American Harman wins his first major at The Open – UnlistedNews

HOYLAKE, England — After American Brian Harman hit his first tee shot of the final round of the 151st Open Championship at the Royal Liverpool Golf Club on Sunday, someone in the stands yelled, “Hit it in the bunkers!”

When Harman, who entered the round with a 5-shot lead, drove his approach shot to the right of the second green, there was an audible cheer from the gallery.

After Harman took a five-shot lead with a five-under 67 in the second round on Friday, it seemed all of Britain wanted anyone but him to win. He had turned England’s Super Bowl into a first-half loss and never relinquished the lead.

Harman, the world number 26, ended his surprising career at Royal Liverpool drenched in rain by shooting a 1-under 70 in the final round on Sunday to win the Claret Jug with a total of 72 holes of 271, which was six shots better than South Korean Tom Kim, Austrian Sepp Straka, Australian Jason Day and Spaniard Jon Rahm.

Harman, 36, is the first oldest major champion since 37-year-old Spaniard Sergio Garcia won the Masters in 2017. He rakes in $3 million for Sunday’s win.

Harman, a 125-to-1 underdog to win The Open, was not a favorite in Las Vegas or off the ropes at Royal Liverpool. He probably wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.

While playing with England’s Tommy Fleetwood on Saturday, Harman said he heard some things that were “unrepeatable.”

“I’d be lying if I didn’t hear some things that weren’t very nice to me today,” Harman said. “I listen to them, but at the same time, I’m not trying to let that influence the decision I’m about to make.”

On Sunday, fans cheered loudly for Fleetwood, who grew up 30 miles away in Southport, England. They tried to round up Rory McIlroy, who won the last Open Championship at Royal Liverpool in 2014 and was trying to end a nine-year drought without a major championship title.

They cheered for American Cameron Young, the long hitter who started the final round closest to Harman at 5 shots behind. They drew Rahm, Straka, Day and Kim, who was playing with a severely sprained ankle, and anyone else who looked like they could turn a three-day beating into a thrilling finish.

They just didn’t support Harman, at least not until it was too late to encourage others. That moment came on the par-4 14th hole when Harman drained a 40-foot putt for birdie. He birdied an 8-footer at the par-5 15 to move to 13-under.

“I think it’s good for Harman,” said PGA Tour player Harris English, one of his teammates at the University of Georgia. “It’s something that turns him on. He knows he’s not a favorite. I think it gives him satisfaction to show everyone that he’s one of the best players in the world.”

There is little doubt about that now that Harman joined Bob Charles (1963) and Phil Mickelson (2013) as the only left-handed players to win a Claret Jug. It is his third victory on the PGA Tour and his first since he captured the 2017 Wells Fargo Championship six years and 77 days ago. It’s the fourth-longest winless drought in PGA Tour history to be broken by a player’s first major championship victory, according to research by ESPN Stats & Information.

With the win, Harman is expected to move to No. 3 in Ryder Cup points. The top six players in the standings after the BMW Championship on August 20 will automatically qualify for the American team that will compete against Europe at the Marco Simone Golf and Country Club outside Rome from September 29 to October 29. 1. Harman seems almost certain to make the team for the first time.

“It’s a muddy, a pinwheel,” Team USA captain Zach Johnson said Sunday. “For lack of a better cliché, he’s a bulldog. I think he’s built for this, you know? I’ve played a lot of golf with him and been around him on and off the ropes for quite some time. What I’ve witnessed in the last three days, absolutely none of it surprises me at all. No surprise. No surprise.”

As one of the smallest players on the PGA Tour at 5-foot-7, 150 pounds, Harman has been overlooked and underappreciated throughout his professional career. It’s the reason he’s played with a chip the size of a pot bunker on his shoulder for so long.

“People underestimated him on the baseball and football field, everywhere,” said Patton Kizzire, one of Harman’s closest friends on tour. “As a golfer, you can make up for it. You don’t have to be the biggest. I think he loves being the underdog.”

After scoring just one bogey over the first 36 holes, Harman found trouble early for a second straight round on Sunday. On the second par 4, he hit his approach shot that cleared the hole. He chipped 20 feet and needed two putts to bogey. He putt 7 1/2 feet to save par after missing the green at No. 3.

He ran into trouble again on the par-5 fifth hole, after driving his tee shot into thick gorse down the right side. He had to go down and his third shot was too far from the green. He couldn’t get up and down and bogeyed 6 to drop to 10 under. Suddenly, his lead over Rahm was down to 3. Fleetwood and Straka were 4 shots behind.

But then, much like Harman did after two bogeys early in the third round, he calmed down. He hit his tee shot at the par-3 sixth at 13 ½ feet and sunk a birdie. On the par-4 seventh, he drained a foot 23 ½ for another birdie to return to 12-under. His advantage was once more 5 shots over Rahm and Straka.

After hitting five straight par, Harman made another bogey at the par-3 13, when he missed a putt for par 7-footer, his first error inside 10-footer all tournament.

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Sara Marcus
Sara Marcushttps://unlistednews.com
Meet Sara Marcus, our newest addition to the Unlisted News team! Sara is a talented author and cultural critic, whose work has appeared in a variety of publications. Sara's writing style is characterized by its incisiveness and thought-provoking nature, and her insightful commentary on music, politics, and social justice is sure to captivate our readers. We are thrilled to have her join our team and look forward to sharing her work with our readers.
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