The Open Championship 2023: Brian Harman wins by 6 strokes

The Open Championship 2023: Brian Harman wins by 6 strokes

Brian Harman Cruises to Open Championship Victory in Dominant Fashion

Brian Harman, a 36-year-old from Savannah, Georgia, would be an unlikely individual to own a golf course in the United Kingdom. Harman owned Royal Liverpool in Hoylake this weekend, however, playing about as stress-free of a final round as any major winner will have on Sunday on his way to taking home the Open Championship 2023 by six strokes.

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It marks the first major and third PGA Tour win overall for Harman, who last won at the Wells Fargo Championship in 2017. After two early bogeys, Harman birdied holes 6 and 7 and was never seriously challenged after that.

“I decided to get out and try and take as much control as I could,” Harman said. “When I made a couple putts on the front nine, I felt like I settled down and I had a lot of control.”

In hindsight, Harman’s winning move came on Friday, when he zipped to the top of the leaderboard after a round of 65 that followed a 67 on Thursday and put him at -10 after 36 holes. His lead grew to six strokes coming into Sunday’s final round, and his 1-under 70 over the final 18 holes gave him the championship with a 13-under 271.

Despite the big lead, Harman said he was a bit nervous going into the final round, where all the pressure would be on him to close out the victory.

“I was a wreck last night,” Harman, an avid hunter, said afterward. “I mean, I’ve been wreck the whole week. But it’s trying to just grind it, and I kept thinking about something [Georgia football coach] Kirby Smart said: ‘I’m not gonna be hunted; I’m gonna hunt.'”

Harman, despite not winning over the past six years, has been extremely consistent. He’s made the FedEx Cup playoffs in 12 straight years. This was also his fourth-straight top-12 finish, which includes a runner-up at the 2023 Travelers Championship last month. Now, after moving up to third place in the Ryder Cup standings, he looks to have an automatic berth into the September tournament in his grasp.

Jon Rahm, who tied for second here with Tom Kim, Sepp Straka, and Jason Day at -7, got to within three strokes of Harman early but couldn’t get any closer.

“He won by six,” said Rahm, “so there’s nothing any of us could have done.”

At -6, Rory McIlroy finished tied for sixth with Emiliano Grillo. McIlroy, who won his last major here at Hoylake in 2014, got off to a good start on both Saturday and Sunday but couldn’t mount a charge. Despite not winning, he’s finished in the top 10 in seven of the eight majors over the past two years.

“You think about my performances in the majors between like 2016 and 2019, it’s a lot better than that,” McIlroy said. “Again, I’m optimistic about the future and just got to keep plugging away.”

Cameron Young, who finished runner-up here last year, was in second when the day started but finished tied for eighth after shooting a 73. Shubhankar Sharma was the other golfer to finish at -5 to place eighth. Tied for 10th were Tommy Fleetwood, Matthew Jordan, and Max Homa, who notched his first top 10 in a major.

Check more of The 151st Open Highlights

Up Next

With major season over with, there are just two events left until the start of the FedEx Cup playoffs. The 3M Open at TPC Twin Cities in Minnesota takes place this coming week, where Tony Finau is the defending champion. Also, in England, the 50-and-over crowd heads to Royal Porthcawl in Wales for the Senior Open Championship.

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