United States' Brian Harman kisses the trophy as he poses for the media holding the Claret Jug trophy for winning the British Open Golf Championships at the Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake, England, Sunday, July 23, 2023. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

SEC Grad Wins First Major in Open Championship

Golfer Brian Harman put two hands on his putter almost five feet away from the final hole of the fourth round in the British Open Championship Sunday. With hardware within his reach, he lightly tapped the ball into the hole to complete his first ever major victory.

The Georgia native finally did it.

Harman defeated a field of 156 players to claim the 151st Open Championship Sunday in Liverpool, England. The victory marks his first major win in his career, making him the third left-handed golfer to win the event. Harman not only took home the Claret Jug, but also a $3 million check as well. It’s the largest winner’s check in the history of the British Open.

Early Competition

The University of Georgia graduate walked into the competition ranked as the No. 26 best golfer in the world, according to PGA world rankings. However, he was matched up with even competitive competition early in round one.

Argentinian golfer Emiliano Grillo led the way for the field in round one by going under par through 66 strokes. Only 17 golfers, including Grillo, were able to finish the first round through under 70 shots. Harman was right behind him at fourth in day one.

Round Two Performance Sets up Harman for Victory

A few golfers struggled to figure out the Royal Liverpool Golf Course early in round two as they battled rain and heavy wind. Harman on the other hand went through the day with ease.

The sky cleared up later in the round, but by then Harman was under par and ahead of anyone for the day.

By the end of round two, those who occupied the top 10 spots on the leaderboards all found themselves fall while Harman stayed consistent with great performances on the green and in his long game. The U.S. golfer finished round two through 65 strokes — the lowest amount of shots taken by him in any round for the championship.

From that point on Harman pushed himself away from the competition by going under par through the last two rounds and finished the Open Championship 13 under par and with the lowest score of the competition at 271. The closest to him was South Korean golfer Tom Kim and Austrian Sepp Straka. Both golfers were tied at second place, and finished seven strokes under par with a score of 277.

Other Top Golfers Struggled

The Open Championship consisted a majority of the top golfer around the globe including Kim, Straka, Tommy Fleetwood, Rory Mcllory and No. 1 PGA ranked golfer Scottie Scheffler.

Scheffler finished the four-day competition tied at 23rd place with 10 other golfers and scored 284 while going even to par.

Mcllory, who won the Scottish Cup back on July 16, didn’t brush with the top 10 spots on the leaderboard until the second half of the tournament. He finished day one through 71 strokes — 31st lowest from all competitors for the day.

Fleetwood started the event off right with the second best score of round one at 280. From there, the English golfer ended each round with more than 70 strokes and found himself out of the top five spots. However, he finished four under par and tied at 10th place with fellow British golfer Matthew Jordan and U.S. golfer Max Homa.

The next PGA event will be the 3M Open in Blaine, Minnesota. The tournament will go from July 27-30.

About Brandon Hernandez

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