From two early bogeys, Brian Harman turned it around on Saturday to maintain his five-shot lead
Brian Harman admitted he was proud of how he “hung in there” as he kept a big lead at the 151st Open Championship.
The two-time PGA Tour winner kept his five-shot lead intact with a two-under 69 in the third round at Hoylake.
“It would have been really easy to let the wheels start spinning and let it get out of control,” Harman said.
“I doubled down on my routine. I knew I was hitting it well, even though I hadn’t been hitting good shots.
“Staying patient out there is paramount. Sometimes it is a lot harder than other, but I am really proud of the way I hung in there. The start was tough, hit some loose shots, but it was nice to turn it around and have a nice back nine.
“I am not focused on tomorrow, I am just going to try and get some good sleep and play a nice 18 holes tomorrow.”
Harman was short of the green after three shots on 18, but managed to get up and down for a crucial par to keep the momentum going.
“I wasn’t worried about trying to maintain the lead, I was just trying to make a par. Very pleased to make a par,” he revealed.
“I got a funky break off the tee. I didn’t hit a great shot but it went to a really bad lie where I couldn’t chase it down the fairway.
“I made a mess of it so to salvage a five, I was happy with!”
Harman played alongside local boy Tommy Fleetwood in the third round.
“Tommy and I have been friends for a long time and I know he is from around here,” he said.
“I am not saying I was totally prepared for it, but I knew that he would have a lot of support. It is nice to see so many feverish fans for Tommy.
“I would be lying if I didn’t hear some things that were super nice today towards me. I hear them, but at the same time, but I don’t let it influence the decision I am about to make.”
He now holds a 54-hole lead for the second time in a major championship.
Harman also led after the third round of the 2017 US Open but finished four back of Brooks Koepka.
The American said he has thought about lifting the Claret Jug at Royal Liverpool Golf Club, but he can’t let it get to him tomorrow.
“You would be foolish not to envision it. I have thought about winning majors for my whole entire life,” he added.
“It is the reason I work as hard as I do, I practice as much as I do and I sacrifice as much as I do.
“Tomorrow, if that is going to come to fruition, it has to be all about the golf. It has to be about execution and just staying in the moment.”
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