Brian Harman cruises to Open Championship victory

by Sports Benches

The 151st Open Championship concluded on Sunday at Royal Liverpool with minimal drama, as Brian Harman opened with a five-shot lead and cruised to a six-shot victory. The victory was the third PGA Tour win for the 36-year-old and his first career major championship.

There were a few tense moments for Harman, who bogeyed two of his first five holes without a birdie. The struggles allowed Jon Rahm to get to within three of the lead. As quickly as the lead shrunk, Harman got his game back on track with birdies on six and seven to increase his lead to five. His seven-footer for par on the 72nd hole gave Harman a 70 for the day and 13-under par total. Harman avoided becoming the seventh player to blow a 54-hole lead in a major with a lead of at least five shots.

Australian native Jason Day posted three consecutive rounds in the 60s after a mediocre 72 on Thursday to finish at seven-under par and a tie for second along with Rahm, Tom Kim, and Stepp Straka. Day’s quest for his second career major came up short, but his finish was his best at the Open Championship. The 35-year-old entered the week ranked 27th, up from his 112th ranking at the end of 2022.

Emiliano Grillo and Rory McIlroy finished tied for 6th at 6-under par, while Shubhankar Sharma and Cameron Young finished at 5-under. Rounding out the top ten were Tommy Fleetwood and Max Homa at four-under par.

Other Australians with solid showing this week include Adam Scott and Carmeron Smith. Scott used a final round of two-under par 69 to finish in a tie for 33rd at one-over par. The 43-year-old Scott has never won the Open, with a best finish 2nd in 2012. Smith also finished at one-over after a round of 73 that included three bogeys and a birdie. Smith entered as the defending champion and was never a serious factor to repeat.

Min Woo Lee started with rounds of 71 and 68. He entered Sunday 17th after a third round of 72. However, he struggled to a 75 on Sunday which included seven bogeys. He finished tied for 41st at two-over par.

New Zealand native Ryan Fox rebounded from a first round 78 which included a triple bogey on the par 5 18th hole. He made the cut after a sensational round of five birdies and a bogey for a 67. He posted another sub-70 round on Saturday but struggled a bit in the wet conditions on Sunday, recording a final round of 74. Fox finished four-over par and tied for 52nd.

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