Brian Harman is Champion Golfer of the Year
Liverpool, England – Brian Harman (-12) cruised to victory at the 2023 Open Championship. It was his first career major win and first win since the 2017 Wells Fargo Championship. Harman has been playing excellent golf as of late and his steady game proved to be the perfect fit for a challenging Royal Liverpool setup this week. While he may not be most fans’ number one choice, he was far and away the best player this week.
Harman finished six strokes ahead of Tom Kim, Sepp Straka, Jason Day, and Jon Rahm. Harman entered the final round five strokes clear of Cameron Young in second. He never looked like he was going to give up his lead. He made bogeys but would frequently follow them up by authoritatively pouring in a birdie putt. Harman was rock steady all day.
Rahm, Scottie Scheffler, and Rory McIlroy were the prohibitive favorites this week and each enjoyed slightly different fortunes.
McIlroy finished at -6 and had plenty of opportunities to take it deeper throughout the week but just couldn’t get the putter going. Scheffler, as has been the case for him lately, endured a similar story. He ended up finishing at even par for the tournament after firing his best round of the week, a 67 on Sunday. Rahm had the best chance of the three to challenge for the title, especially after shooting a 63 on Saturday. But he couldn’t go low enough on Sunday to ever threaten Harman’s lead.
The golf course itself proved to be a fascinating test. The bunkers and internal out of bounds pushing up close to the preferred lines of play were two of the more talked-about story lines this week. While scoring conditions were good on Saturday, they deteriorated significantly with rain moving in on Sunday.
Other players who had notable performances included Tommy Fleetwood, the local favorite, who had a shot but couldn’t cash enough birdie putts to stay relevant and finished T10 at -4; Emiliano Grillo, who kept up his strong recent form with a T6 at -6; and Max Homa, who finished T10 at -4 to card his best major finish of his career to date.
Next week, the PGA Tour heads back stateside for a drastically different test at TPC Twin Cities for the 3M Open. Tony Finau is the defending champion there and will play in a field that includes Justin Thomas, Hideki Matsuyama, Sungjae Im, and Cameron Young.
Brian Harman What’s In The Bag
Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM9 50°-08F, 54°-08M, 60°-04L (True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400)
Putter: TaylorMade Spider OS CB