British Open: Harman hot, but young amateur makes SA proud


It’s payback time for 36-year-old American golfer Brian Harman.

The left-handed Harman, who has only managed to win two tournaments in a career that stretches back to 2009, is on 132 (-10) with five shots ahead of England’s Tommy Fleetwood (137, -5) after the second round of the British Open, which is played on the left course at Royal Liverpool.

Sepp Straka of Austria is third at 138, followed by Shubhankar Sharma of India, as well as Jason Day and Min-Woo Lee (both of Australia) together fourth at 139.

They are followed in joint seventh position by Americans Jordan Spieth and Cameron Young, Adrian Otaegui (Spain) and Emiliano Grillo (Argentina), who all finished on 140 strokes in the clubhouse.

Harman, who has failed to make the cut four times in six previous attempts at the British Open, had his best previous performance was his 19th ranking in 2021.

Now he stands on the threshold of fame as his score of 132 after two rounds equals Tiger Woods’ previous best of 132 in 2006, as well as Rory McIlroy’s 132 in 2014, when they both went on to win the Open.

If Harman can keep up the pace, he will become only the third left-handed player after New Zealander Bob Charles (in 1963) and Phil Mickelson (2013) to win the British Open.

Harman, who is 26th in the current world rankings, made four consecutive birdies in Friday’s second round and finished with an eagle on the 18th hole.

Harman told the Golf Channel his nightmare rounds in last year’s Scottish Open and British Open at St. Andrews describes.

He could only beat two players in the Scottish Open and already missed the bus in the first round of the Open.

Four South Africans, Thriston Lawrence (141), Christiaan Bezuidenhout and Louis Oosthuizen (both 144) and the amateur Christo Lamprecht (145), have qualified for the last two rounds, but for Charl Schwartzel and Ockie Strydom (both 149), Ernie Els and Branden Grace (both 152), Kyle Barker (156) and Martin Rohwer (+11), it’s all over.

Lamprecht was tied for the first round on 66, but followed it up with 79 shots.

What makes his performance remarkable is that he is the only amateur (six dropped out) who could qualify for the last two rounds and that he is assured of the coveted silver medal as the leading amateur.

Among the other highlights in the second round was the hole shot by Travis Smyth on the 17th hole.

Then the fiery Englishman Tyrrell Hatton twice hit the ball out of bounds on the 18th hole. Hatton was on course to finish among the leaders, but he fell three shots short of par to finish at +2.

Rory McIlroy (Northern Ireland) is nine shots behind Harman on 141 (-1) and Scottie Scheffler from America, the world’s leading player in the golf rankings, scraped through on the 18th hole with a birdie on 145 (+3).

Other top players who failed to make the cut include Colin Morikawa (+4), Justin Rose (+6), Phil Mickelson (+9), Justin Thomas (+11) and Dustin Johnson (+13).