Brian Harman ‘excited to get on his tractor’ after winning the Open | The Open

There comes a time when a person must reward themselves with a tractor and for the winner of the 151st Open, Brian Harman, that time is now.

The American, who finished six shots clear of the field to claim the Claret Jug at Royal Liverpool, said he plans to celebrate with his new orange Kubota M5001 Narrow Series.

“I’ll get home and I’ll be on the tractor mowing grass in the next few weeks, so I’m excited about that,” he said. “I’m just going to put my phone away and be on my tractor.”

The unheralded Harman, who hails from Savannah, Georgia, owns 40 acres of farming land and is a keen bow and arrow hunter. This colour has helped to endear himself to the crowds of Hoylake, even if he has also faced the occasional unpleasant heckle from locals supporting his rivals Tommy Fleetwood and Rory McIlroy.

The world No 26, who had never previously won a major and has only two PGA tour titles to his name, held off the competition, remaining clear at the top of the leaderboard for three of the four rounds. He extended his lead on Saturday and Sunday despite dropping shots early in both rounds. He said the intervention of one fan had helped him to steady his nerves.

Brian Harman in the bunker at Royal Liverpool
Brian Harman found himself in a few tight spots on the last day but handled them well. Photograph: Dave Shopland/Shutterstock

“After I made the second bogey yesterday, a guy, when I was passing him, he said: ‘Harman, you don’t have the stones for this’. That helped,” he said, with the trophy sitting to his right-hand side.

“You had Fleetwood and Rory making a run. It’s fine. Everybody has got their team they’re rooting for. Yeah, I heard them [boo], if they wanted me to not play well they should have been really nice to me. But the fans here have been incredible. My hat’s off to them. They packed the stands today. I damn sure wouldn’t have been out watching golf today.”

Harman is 36, and despite a successful career as a junior and amateur has never broken out of the professional ranks until now. Reflecting on his career, the champion golfer of the year said he had finally come to believe that he was deserving of success.

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“You know, I’ve always had a self-belief that I could do something like this. It’s just when it takes so much time it’s hard not to let your mind falter, like maybe I’m not winning again,” he said.

“The game is getting younger. All these young guys coming out, they hit it a mile, and they’re all ready to win. Like when is it going to be my turn again?

“It’s been hard to deal with. [But] to come out and put a performance like that together, like start to finish, just had a lot of control. I don’t know why it was this week, but I’m very thankful that it was.”