HILTON HEAD ISLAND, SC – Brian Harman threw what looked like a good shot from the 17th tee at Harbor Town Golf Links on Saturday afternoon, but a breeze from Calibouge Sound blew him astray.
The fiery left-hander returned his 7 iron to his golf bag with a note of authority.
Minutes later, the Savannah, Ga. Native showed a subtle fist pump after punching an 11-footer for a skillful up and down and an unlikely par.
It was a hole in a great round for Harman, who tied his lowest score of the week with a 4 under par 67 at RBC Heritage. He climbed the standings to a tie for 10th place and sits at par 9 under (67-70-67) heading into Sunday’s final round.
“No. 17 was a little strange,” said Harman, who entered the week in 48th place in the official world golf rankings. “It was one of my best swings of the day, and it worked out. finished in a really bad position. The wind was blowing between south and southeast, and I think he got caught in a little gust and knocked it over on the green. So putt that putt and get out away with a three was awesome.
Harman only had one bogey that day – at the eighth par 4 – but he recovered it with a 9-foot bird putt at the ninth hole short par 4. He birdied from 11 feet on the same hole Friday to close his round.
He had one of his best tee shots of the day on the 14th par 3 hole, tucked into an iron within 4 feet and converted. He followed with another birdie at the 15th par-5, using a three-stroke approach and dropping a 9-foot putt into the cup.
His most memorable snap of the day came in the fourth par 3. He missed the green right on the hole for 194 yards, but went from 18 yards for a birdie.
“I was in a really bad position, but I had a really good chip shot. I had to make it climb over a hill, ”said Harman, a Savannah Christian and University of Georgia graduate. “Hopefully I was hoping to come away with a three on that one, and I did a two.
“I probably got the most out of this round (of his previous two this week),” Harman said. “I don’t know if I played as well as I did. I had some good putts and had some really good ups and downs, I had that chip-in. I’ll try to tighten my ball a bit by hitting a bit and I’ll try to get a bass out of it tomorrow.
Harman entered the week playing one of the best golf courses of his career. He’s ranked 33rd in the FedEx Cup standings, with four top-12 finishes in his last seven starts. He finished third in the Players Championship and was the last player to qualify for the Masters when he beat fellow former UGA golfer Bubba Watson in the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play to reach the quarter-finals.
He took full advantage of his opportunity in his third appearance at Augusta National, finishing tied for 12th to secure a place at the 2022 Masters.
This week has a more relaxed vibe, and Harman is enjoying it with his family in Harbor Town, his parents staying close to where Harman, his wife Kelly Van Slyke and their young girl and boy, Cooper and Walter, reside in this week. week.
“They cook for me every night and watch the kids from time to time, so that has been great. They can come anytime, ”Harman said with a smile.
Dennis Knight covers sports for the Savannah Morning News. Contact him at [email protected] Twitter: @DennisKnightSMN