Brian Harman’s Open rout was one of the most dominant performances of 2023

Brian Harman smiles and celebrates his six-stroke victory at the 151st Open Championship at Royal Liverpool on July 23, 2023 in Hoylake, England.

Brian Harman smiles and celebrates his six-stroke victory at the 151st Open Championship at Royal Liverpool on July 23, 2023, in Hoylake, England.

Keyur Khamar/PGA TOUR via Getty Images

Ah, 2023. The year everything changed … again. For the second straight year, we left 2023 with a drastically different perspective of professional golf than we entered. Now, as we look back at the year that was — with LIV major championships, Ryder Cup controversies and oh so many other stories — we’re remembering the 15 biggest moments that defined the year in golf. Let’s get digging.

Biggest Golf Moments of 2023 …
No. 15: Viktor Hovland’s arrival
No. 14: Fowler, Day back in the winner’s circle

Biggest Golf Moments of 2023 No. 13: Brian Harman’s Open rout

There was a theme that started to take place early during Open week: Brian Harman was a hunter. As in the literal sense. He talked about it often — his trips to the mountains, to Colorado, the butchering of the animal, the whole sport of it. The overseas press was deeply interested in the hobby. “Brian the Butcher,” one outlet called him.

From what distance are you most deadly? one reporter asked.

“You wouldn’t want to be standing in front of me,” he said. “I’m good out to about 80 yards, but I don’t take a shot past 40.”

That explains your short game.

“Yeah, good pair of hands,” he said, laughing.

The hunting angle was a noteworthy one that week because the media — specifically those not in the States — was simply trying to figure out exactly who this guy was, where he came from and, most importantly, how the heck did he dominate the 151st Open Championship so thoroughly?

Harman led by five at the midway point. The winning margin was six. Take Harman out of this thing, and it would have been quite the finish. Four players — including Jon Rahm and Jason Day — tied for second at seven under, and two others (including Rory McIlroy) were at six under.

But Harman made the final day a snooze. He made three bogeys on a rainy Sunday at Royal Liverpool, but two of them were immediately followed by two straight birdies. He didn’t miss a putt inside 10 feet all tournament long until the back nine on Sunday. In capturing his first major title and first victory since 2017, Harman turned the most important round of his life into something that more closely resembled a weekend round with buddies.

“He won by six,” Rahm said. “It’s not like he won by two or three. He won by six, so there’s nothing really any of us could have done. There’s nothing any of us could have done.”

After feasting at Royal Liverpool, Harman traveled back to the States and reunited with his family, which was vacationing in upstate New York. After that, he was looking forward to getting back to his farm and checking out the new tractor he bought, a 105-horse orange Kubota. He loves to mow; he said there was about 40 acres total he needed to cut.

I’ve never known an Open Champion to celebrate by mowing grass on a tractor, one reporter said.

“I’ve got a lot of layers, man,” Harman said. “I’m like an onion.”

Josh Berhow Editor

As’s managing editor, Berhow handles the day-to-day and long-term planning of one of the sport’s most-read news and service websites. He spends most of his days writing, editing, planning and wondering if he’ll ever break 80. Before joining in 2015, he worked at newspapers in Minnesota and Iowa. A graduate of Minnesota State University in Mankato, Minn., he resides in the Twin Cities with his wife and two kids. You can reach him at