‘Here’s a legend’: How Open leader Brian Harman found a kindred spirit in Lee Trevino
Brian Harman said it wasn’t anything special. Just some golf talk between him, a 5-foot-7 30-something from Georgia, and his new bud, a 5-foot-7 80-something from Texas.
This weekend, you’re likely going to see a lot of the former. Harman should be around the top of the Open Championship leaderboard all weekend at Royal Liverpool, where he lit up the track to the tune of a six-under 65 on Friday. He birdied four (2, 3, 4 and 5), eagled one (18, on a 14-footer) and bogeyed none.
You may have heard of the other guy.
Lee Trevino. Six-time major winner. Twenty-nine-time PGA Tour winner. Knower of all that is the golf swing. Talker of everything.
And there the two were last year on the driving range at St. Andrews, ahead of last year’s Open. In a way, they’re kindred spirits. Harman’s found fair success as a 14-year pro, but is a grinder. Kinda like the other guy, who hasn’t been shy about dishing knowledge throughout the years, but doesn’t necessarily hand it out to just anyone.
“Lee has always been incredibly nice to me,” Harman said after his round on Friday. “I wouldn’t expect him to know me from — couldn’t pick me out of a lineup of two, I would imagine, but he’s always made it a point to say hello so I’ve always appreciated him and always made it a point whenever I’m around him to talk to him.”
As they did last year, when Trevino walked up to Brian “One-Putt” Harman. Yes, he had given him a nickname, after believing that he did nothing but what the title says. (To that end, Harman was among the Strokes Gained: Putting leaders at the Open.) After the pleasantries, they talked about the golf swing.
At the time, GOLF’s Luke Kerr-Dineen talked with Justin Parsons, Harman’s swing coach, and he summed up the conversation this way:
“Harman and Trevino are both similar heights, and Trevino was built similarly in his prime. That lends itself to some technical similarities.
“‘They’ve both got a very square trail side [at setup] and a very open lead side,’ Parsons explains.
“For both players, standing slightly open allowed more hip rotation through the ball. That’s part of what they talked about, Parsons said, but it also led to Trevino sharing a crucial swing thought that made it all work.
“‘[Trevino] said he felt he kept the pressure inside his trail foot,’ Parsons said. ‘He would load up in that position and then spring off it.’
“Pressure in this context, for reference, is the feeling of pushing down into the ground. When Trevino says he’s keeping the pressure on the inside of his trail foot, he’s effectively saying he’s keeping his weight on the inside of his trail foot throughout his swing.
“That feeling allowed Trevino to load his trail leg, without drifting too far off center.”
“Here’s a legend, on the range,” Harman told Fire Pit Collective’s Michael Bamberger at the time. “To have a chance to talk to Lee Trevino and not do it, that would be just wrong. He has the gift for making the golf swing simple. Sometimes you get so stuck in the TrackMan numbers, and all the numbers, you lose that the golf swing is more art than science.”
A while later, the 5-foot-7 30-something from Georgia, and the 5-foot-7 80-something from Texas went their own ways.
This weekend, the former will be playing for his first major championship. The latter will likely be watching.