England’s HOYLAKE — Brian Harman defeated every obstacle in the British Open, including well-known competitors and unfavorable conditions, and earned his place among the major winners with a victory at Royal Liverpool on Sunday that was never really in doubt.
After a rare bogey, Harman twice answered with back-to-back birdies, forcing everyone else to battle for second. He finished with a 1-under 70 and won by six shots after sinking an 8-foot par putt on the last hole.
He is the oldest first-time major champion at 36 years old since Sergio Garcia, who won the Masters at age 37 in 2017.
Garcia was not unexpected. Few people anticipated this victory at the beginning of the week. Six years and 167 tournaments had passed since Harman’s last victory at the 2017 Wells Fargo Championship. In his twelve years on the PGA Tour, he has only won three times.
Then the ardent hunter made winning golf’s oldest event appear as simple as shooting fish in a barrel.
Masters champion Jon Rahm tied Tom Kim (67), Sepp Straka (69), and Jason Day (69) for second place with a birdie on his final hole to finish with a 70. Rahm remarked, “He won by six, so there’s really nothing any of us could have done.
With the second of his four straight birdies early in the second round on Friday, Harman seized the lead. Over the final 51 holes, he never fell behind, and after the second and third rounds, he had a five-shot lead.
Fans in the stands either wanted a huge name or may not have been paying attention to the masterful performance Harman had given when he began the rainy round with a few boos. Harman claimed to have overheard a few remarks while playing with Englishman Tommy Fleetwood on Saturday that he would never be able to repeat.
However, he exudes Georgia grit, being unfazed by wind, rain, or either.
He was given a standing ovation as he approached the 18th green and gave them a thank-you tap as he left the green. It was just a matter of signing his scorecard—a 13-under 271—and going back to pick up the silver claret jug, golf’s oldest trophy.
Even without any drama, the conclusion was appropriate. In only his third bunker in 72 holes, Harman’s approach shot from 194 yards into a pot bunker to the right of the 18th green. The main key of Royal Liverpool is that. He made the putt, giving him a week total of only 106.