Brian Harman: 2023 Open Championship victory, clinching first career major

Amid a sea of umbrellas at a rain-soaked Royal Liverpool, the American weathered a stormy start to lift the Claret Jug, finishing six shots ahead of Australia’s Jason Day, Austria’s Sepp Straka, South Korea’s Tom Kim and Spain’s Jon Rahm.

This is the first thing that stands out – and the first contradiction – for the runaway winner of the 151st Open Championship at Royal Liverpool, where he took a five-shot lead into the rain-soaked final round and shot a 1-under 70 Sunday to beat a foursome including Tom Kim, Sepp Straka, Jason Day and Jon Rahm by six strokes.

After Harman grabbed a 5-stroke lead with a 5-under 67 in the second round Friday, it seemed like all of Great Britain wanted anyone to win but him. He had turned England’s Super Bowl into a first-half rout and never relinquished the lead.

Garcia wasn’t a surprise. Not many would have seen this victory coming at the start of the week. Harman had gone 167 tournaments over six years since his last win in the 2017 Wells Fargo Championship. This is only his third title in his 12 years on the PGA Tour.

I doubled down on my process,” he said, “and I know it’s boring and it is not flashy. But, until hitting that last bunker shot, I have not thought about winning the tournament.

Harman, ranked 26th in the world, had previously won twice on the PGA Tour since turning pro in 2009, but a runner-up finish at the 2017 US Open had marked the closest the Georgia-born golfer had come to winning one of the sport’s flagship events.

Harman is 5-foot-7 and looks even shorter among the company he keeps, but he plays big-boy golf, most notably his 346-yard tee shot and 5-iron to 15 feet for eagle Friday, when he put a stranglehold on this tournament. That gave him a five-shot lead at the tournament’s halfway point, an advantage that was never truly in danger over the final two days.

Harman’s 6-stroke margin of victory matches the second largest in Open Championship history by golfers representing the United States; Tiger Woods won the Claret Jug with an 8-stroke margin at St. Andrews in Scotland in 2000.