2023 British Open_ Brian Harman handles rain, nerves and discipline to dominate 151st Open

Brian Harman is used to being the hunter.

“Once I exit turkey looking,” Harman says, “I can spend all day on the market.”

On Sunday at Royal Liverpool, Harman was the hunted. However none of Harman’s pursuers, the closest a whopping 5 photographs again coming into the ultimate spherical of this 151st Open Championship, may catch him. Harman, wielding fairly the weapon of his personal (his putter), spent an extended, cool, and wet day on England’s west coast dodging bullets and sinking putts.

He didn’t simply escape, although. By the point he holed out for par on Hoylake’s par-5 18th gap, Harman had turned again into the hunter – a big-game hunter – as a winner by six photographs and a serious champion for the primary time.

And shortly, he’d have the final word prize, the claret jug, in his arms to life excessive into the gray, drizzly sky.

“I used to be a wreck final evening,” Harman stated afterward. “I imply, I have been wreck the entire week. Nevertheless it’s making an attempt to only grind it, and I stored fascinated by one thing [Georgia football coach] Kirby Sensible stated: ‘I am not gonna be hunted; I am gonna hunt.'”

Not that Harman by no means seemed inclined. For the second straight day, he bogeyed two of his first 5 holes with no birdies. The sluggish begin allowed Jon Rahm, with a birdie on the par-5 fifth gap, to tug inside three photographs. Whereas Rahm obtained a lucky break after yanking his drive into the gorse left of the fifth fairway and was capable of play his second shot, Harman’s tee shot on the identical gap wasn’t so fortunate. Harman needed to take an unplayable, but hit a pleasant third shot to keep away from carding something worse than bogey.

However simply because the charging Spaniard had Harman in his crosshairs, Harman sank birdie putts on every of the subsequent two holes, Nos. 6 and seven, to stretch his benefit again to 5 photographs.

“I made a decision to get out and attempt to take as a lot management as I may,” Harman stated. “Once I made a pair putts on the entrance 9, I felt like I settled down and I had numerous management.”

None of Harman’s challengers obtained nearer once more.

Rahm performed his remaining 13 holes in even par to shoot 70 and end in a share of second place at 7 below with Sepp Straka (69), Jason Day (69) and Tom Kim (67). A shot behind that foursome was Rory McIlroy, who birdied three straight holes early however cooled off and shot 68.

“He received by six, so there’s nothing actually any of us may have completed,” Rahm stated. “There’s nothing any of us may have completed.”

Harman, in the meantime, canned a 40-foot birdie putt at No. 14 following one other bogey after which added an 8-foot birdie make on the par-5 fifteenth gap. Harman led the sphere in strokes gained placing for the week (+11.57 strokes) and made all however one putt within 10 ft (58 of 59), together with a 7-footer for par on the final. His closing 70 place him at 13 below and helped him keep away from becoming a member of an ominous checklist of six gamers who’ve coughed up a 54-hole main lead of 5 or extra strokes.

As an alternative, Harman is projected to maneuver to No. 11 within the Official World Golf Rating, a career-best mark. He additionally solidified himself a spot on Zach Johnson’s U.S. Ryder Cup workforce, too, rising to 3rd in factors.

Captain Johnson may use a hunter on his 12-man squad.

Particularly one holding one in every of professional golf’s 4 trophy bucks.

“Cannot take it from me,” Harman stated clutching the jug. “Cannot take it from me.”