What Fired up Brain Harman to Win The Open?

I found 3 surprising opportunities that fired up Brian Harman to win The Open. They are not what you are thinking. He has NOT been winning for many years, but his game has recently been improving in spit of his aging body at 36. He has finally rejuvenated his game after 20 years of trying to find the magic again.

The most important fact that we should pay attention to, is that he never stopped trying to find perfection in his game and we should all do the same. These 3 points were critical for his success.

Brian Harman wins The 2023 Open in spite of his historic lack of success.

1/ An Unpleasant Inspiration
On day 3 of The Open, he started his day leading the field. Unfortunately, he made 2 early bogies in his round. Most golfers may see this as the end of their good fortunes and continue to crash and burn. Fortunately, a hostile fan heckled Brian with the comment: “ Harman, you haven’t got the stones to win” . Those vicious words were enough for Brian to turn around his day. It put fire in his belly. It not only inspired him on Saturday but carried him to victory by 6 strokes.

2/ Sticking to His Strategy
Harman had decided that the pot belly bunkers were the evil plague that destroyed the rounds for so many of the pros. He decided to select clubs on every hole to hit short of the bunkers. Most of the greens were surrounded by those bunkers so he also used high shots onto every green to avoid them. Even more important was his skill to hit long iron shots safely to the greens.

3/ Always Searching for Success
In recent years Brian was making a good income from golf but he wanted to find perfection. Knowing that his putting was letting him down, he found an old Golf Training Aid in his collection of golfing paraphernalia. He called it a “silly mirror”. He was “cutting” his putts and used the mirror to help him put a “baby draw” on his putts. [These are very strange words to describe any putting motion when the object is to hit putts STRAIGHT.]

After the US Open, Brian started using his training aid as a reminder to improve his putts. His putting heated up even more at Hoylake, where Harman led the field in strokes gained putting (+11.57 for the week). He sank 58 of 59 putts from inside 10 feet.

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  • Richard Gula says:

    I thought Harmon had a compact swing that changed clubs and not swing itself for all approach shots. His putting style was closer to Dave Stockton than Brad Faxin. Down the line not open close door style.
    He set back the Rahm McIlroy bombers at last!

    • Will Curry says:

      Interesting points Richard. I see that Brain’s driving average is only 290 over the past 10 years. He chose “position golf” to win the day. Safe in the fairway and long shots into the green which were close to the pin. I agree that his down the line putting on the line that he chose, made all the difference.