Golf isn’t supposed to be easy but Brian Harman is sure making it look that way. Harman’s Saturday got off to a shaky start with two bogeys over his first four holes but he quickly steadied the ship on a benign day. With no one in the final few groups making a move on the lead, Harman was free to calm himself down and eventually put on an impressive display of golf, removing almost any drama on moving day. Ultimately he wound up shooting a third-round 69 and will sleep on a five-shot 54-hole lead.
As evidenced by multiple brilliant rounds early from players just inside the cut line, Royal Liverpool was gettable on Saturday. The wind was down, birdies were available, and those who were completely dialed in were able to make a real charge. But without pressure from his closest chasers, Harman was able to stick to his game plan without panicking. He played solid tee-to-green golf and managed to maintain his lead. There wasn’t anything flashy about his performance. It was the routine nature of his play that was the most impressive.
But while Harman appears in command heading into the final round, let’s remember it has been more than six years since he won an event (All due respect to the QBE Shootout). That’s not to say he’s going to succumb to pressure, but just to note that he hasn’t been in this position in a very long time. Harman’s last win came when Scottie Scheffler, Collin Morikawa, and Viktor Hovland were all still in college. Brooks Koepka has five major wins since that 2017 Wells Fargo. Jason Day was the reigning PGA champion then. It’s been a while! Still, a five-shot lead is a five-shot lead. Semi-competent golf tomorrow makes him the Champion Golfer of the Year.
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