Open champion Harman ‘ready for anything’ at Masters

In Sports
April 09, 2024


Brian Harman traveled across the Atlantic Ocean to win his first major title. Now he’s back home in Georgia trying to repeat the magic and capture a Masters green jacket.

The 37-year-old left-hander from nearby Savannah won the Claret Jug last July by six strokes at Royal Liverpool, taking the Open Championship in his 30th major start despite fans cheering against him.

“You get enough of those kind of ‘take that’ moments, it helps you build confidence,” Harman said. “Because if you can go through that gauntlet and then execute a golf shot, it’s like well all I have to do is go through my routine and execute this, so that was almost like a calming sensation there.

“I feel like I’m ready for anything.”

Now Harman, a 2017 US Open runner-up at Erin Hills, comes home to try and capture consecutive majors, a feat last done in 2015 by Jordan Spieth at the Masters and US Open.

“After The Open I feel as though I’m more prepared to handle whatever comes my way,” he said. “Just these pressure-packed situations I’ve seen myself perform pretty well under that pressure.”

He’s not sure what to do with plenty of supporters in this week’s crowd.

“Seems like I do better when everyone’s rooting against me than rooting for me,” Harman said. “Maybe I’ll just pretend they’re yelling mean things instead of nice things.”

Harman is among only five left-handers to win major titles, joining three-time Masters winner Phil Mickelson, 2003 Masters winner Mike Weir, Bob Charles and two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson.

“Lefties have done pretty well around here,” Harman said. Conditions have to go in my favor. The US Open I had a chance to win was the longest one in US Open history, so the length doesn’t scare me. I’ve just got to prepare myself.”

Harman has also won two PGA Tour events, the 2014 John Deere Classic and 2017 Wells Fargo Championship, and nearly added another last month, sharing second at The Players Championship behind top-ranked Scottie Scheffler.

He played last week in Texas, sharing 25th, to try and improve his best result in five Masters starts, a share of 12th in 2021.

“When I take a break, I tend to come back a little rusty, and I feel like that has been kind of a problem for me here at Augusta,” Harman said.

“Wanted to play last week, knock the rust off, and be as ready as I can to try and contend this week.

“Last week I had a couple of the same feelings I usually would have had this week — I was rusty, made a couple brain-dead bogeys. Hopefully got all that out of my system and can be a little sharper and ready to go this week.”

Harman was introduced to Augusta National at age 14 by a friend who also showed him a different sort of shotmaking — duck hunting.

Harman still enjoys hunting, but notes, “We’re full-on turkey season right now.

“Spring-time is special. Gobbling turkeys, doesn’t get any better than that. It’s a nice mental distraction when things aren’t going well. You take yourself somewhere else and calm yourself down, for sure.

“My daughter, she’s seven, we went youth weekend. She killed her first bird two Sundays ago. It was one of the most memorable moments of my whole life. I was really proud of her. She did fantastic.”

He’s hoping the hunt for a green jacket this week goes just as well.

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