Brian Harman shot a 1-under-par 70 Sunday to win his first major title at The 151st Open Championship at Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake, England.
Harman, 36, lifted the Claret Jug with a final score of 13-under 271, winning by six strokes after maintaining the five-shot lead he’s protected since Friday.
Harman jumped five shots ahead by opening the week with rounds of 67 and 65, then refused to fall back to the chasing pack. With Sunday the rainiest day of the championship, nobody in the field shot better than a 67, leaving Harman to close out the career-changing victory with ease.
Tom Kim of South Korea (67), Australia’s Jason Day (69), Sepp Straka of Austria (69) and Jon Rahm of Spain (70) tied for second at 7 under par. Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland and Emiliano Grillo of Argentina each shot 68 to tie for sixth at 6 under.
Harman entered the week ranked a respectable No. 26 in the world but had not won on the PGA Tour since 2017. He joined Rahm (Masters), Brooks Koepka (PGA Championship) and Wyndham Clark (US Open) as the four men to win major championships in 2023.
In similar fashion to his rocky start on Saturday, Harman was 2 over through five holes Sunday. His drive at the par-5 fifth hole—the easiest on the course— found a gorse bush, leading him to take an unplayable lie penalty. That narrowed his lead to three shots over Rahm at the time.
Harman responded by birdieing the par-3 sixth and par-4 seventh, sinking putts from 14 and 24 feet, to return to 12 under. And after bogeying the par-3 13th hole, Harman drilled a 40-foot birdie putt center-cup at the par-4 14th.
On a course with 82 bunkers, Harman landed in just two all week—the second coming at his 72nd hole. He led the field in strokes gained putting, and of the mere six bogeys he made this week, he followed four with a birdie on the very next hole.
McIlroy finished in the top 10 for the seventh time in his past eight majors. August will mark a full nine years since he won his last major title.
Cameron Young, who began the day five off the pace and played in the final pairing with Harman, faded to a 2-over 73. He finished tied for eighth at 5 under with India’s Shubhankar Sharma (70). — Field Level Media/Reuters