Brian Harman remembered 8 words from an Open heckler. Here’s what was said
Padraig Harrington, when asked to describe Brian Harman, was candid in his report.
He’s a solid player.
Hits it straight.
And this, too.
“I would suggest he has the perfect chip on his shoulder. He’s a great player but is ignored just because he doesn’t fit the mold, doesn’t look the part. I think that chip on the shoulder really drives him. I think he’s a very determined, gritty person who wants to really prove himself because, as I said, he probably doesn’t get — for how he performs, he wouldn’t get the credit.
“That’s the way it is.”
Harrington had said that Friday at Royal Liverpool. It was as if he had read the script.
Friday night, Harman was up five through 36 holes at the Open Championship. But Saturday afternoon, he was committing turnovers during the third round. He bogeyed the 1st. He bogeyed the 4th. Others were closing in.
And he was done.
Or at least that’s what he heard, though a bit more colorfully.
By now, you probably know how the story ends. Harman is your Open champion. He overcame that early stumble, and another one on Sunday during the final round, and he won by six, a somewhat obscene margin. And it all kind of begged this question, asked when things were over:
“You had a couple bogeys early on Saturday and then again today. You showed some serious resilience. What was going through your mind particularly today after those two early bogeys because a lot of men in your position might have shown further weakness throughout your round, but you held firm.”
Eight words, Harman said.
“After I made the second bogey yesterday, a guy, when I was passing him, he said, ‘Harman, you don’t have the stones for this.’ That helped.”
There was laughter. There were then follow-up questions.
“That was the motivation?”
“Yeah, that helped a lot,” Harman said. “I think he was — anyway, that helped. Anyway, it helped snap me back into, ‘I’m good enough to do this. I’m going to do this. I’m going to go through my process, and the next shot is going to be good.’”
And they were. On Saturday, after the early bogeys, Harman played four-under golf. On Sunday, after dropped shots on 2 and 5, he shot three-under.
One more question.
“So it was a case of trying to prove any doubters wrong?”
“You know, I’m not going to give any more — I shouldn’t have given him credit right there,” Harman said. “Yeah, just the resilience, just knowing — I knew I was going to make — I figured at some point that I was going to hit bad shots. Just with the weather and the scenario, you’re going to hit bad shots.
“I knew that the way I responded to that would determine whether I’d be sitting here or not.”