Brian Harman Wins British Open – Brian Harman cruised past his rivals to win the 151st edition of the British Open while Akshay Bhatia ruled the 25th Barracuda Championship via playoff to emerge as this weekend’s big winners in the professional golf circuit. Harman concluded an amazing week by overcoming the best golfers around the world and won the first major title of his career on Sunday. Bhatia, on the other hand, needed the last hole to force a playoff and edged past Patrick Rodgers to capture his maiden US PGA Tour title. It was a great week for the sport’s unheralded players, as they were given the opportunity to shine. Online sports punters, who went deep into their research just to pick the winners of this week’s tournaments, also benefited from the post-tournament cash windfall following the surprise results.
Brian Harman Wins British Open by Six Shots
The 36-year-old world number 26 held on to a five-shot overnight lead to emerge victorious at 13-under-par 271 in the rain-swept Royal Liverpool course in Hoylake. Harman had rounds of 67, 65, 69 and 70 to win his biggest title ever. The American received US$3 million and earned 600 FedEx Cup points from the US PGA Tour. It was also his first tournament win since 2017. Harman was tested early in the fourth round when he dropped two shots in the second and fifth holes.
His lead was reduced to three shots but his back-to-back birdies in the next two holes to stretch his advantage that he never relinquished. His putting was almost perfect the whole week as the American used this to pull away from the rest of the field. He sealed the title when he made a 40-foot birdie putt in the 14th hole and made another on the par-five 15th to destroy his foes’ hopes of an improbable victory.
Strong Performances and Payouts for Top Finishers in Rainy Conditions
Masters champion Jon Rahm finished second alongside Sepp Straka of Austria, Jason Day of Australia and Tom Kim of South Korea. Rahm, who rose to contention in the third round after shooting a course-record 63, settled for a 70 in the final round. The result handed the Spaniard US$1.084 million and 203 points. Straka and Day had a good final round, signing in for a 69, to secure the similar prize and points as Rahm. Kim, on the other hand, shot the day’s lowest round of 67 to finish the four rounds at 277. Rory McIlroy and Emiliano Grillo of Argentina shared sixth place at 278 to earn 105 FedEx Cup points and US$551,250. Both golfers shot 68 in the fourth round.
Cameron Young (73) and Shubhankar Sharma (70) came in joint eighth at 279. They received US$403,350. Matthew Jordan, Tommy Fleetwood and Max Homa finished 10th at 280 with Homa shooting a 69 in the fourth round while Jordan and Fleetwood had 70 and 72, respectively. The troika garnered US$308,400 each. LIV golf campaigner Henrik Stenson was the highest-placed parbuster representing the Saudi-backed circuit at 13th place. The Swede compiled rounds of 73, 68, 71 and 69 to finish at 3-under 285. He was tied with Viktor Hovland of Norway, Thomas Detry of Belgium and Hideki Matsuyama of Japan. The four received US$232,875 for their efforts.
Bhatia Wins first PGA Tour Crown
Twenty-one-year-old Bhatia buried six birdies to shake off two early bogeys and a double-bogey early in the round. He forced a playoff when he birdied the last hole for a total of nine points under the Modified Stableford scoring system that awards points for birdies and eagles and deducts them for bogeys and worse. Bhatia accumulated 40 points to force a playoff as Rodgers managed six points in the last 18 holes. The young campaigner took advantage of the big opportunity in the playoff hole when he blasted a superb drive down the fairway and made a solid approach to the green for a birdie try. Bhatia missed the chance to hole out a birdie but he tapped in for a par that was enough for him to win the tournament as Rodgers settled for a bogey.
The victory handed Bhatia full tour member status that qualified him for the season-ending FedEx Cup playoffs. The loss continued Rodgers’ title drought. It was his fourth second-place finish, as he continued his search for a win on the US PGA Tour. Frenchman Julien Guerrier finished tied for third with 37 points. He buried 10 birdies for a final-round score of 20. Jens Dantorp also scored 37 to tie Guerrier in third. The Swedish golfer had an eagle, six birdies and two bogeys for 15 points in the fourth round. The victories of Bhatia and Harman was a surprise for every golf oddsmakers who tried to play safe and bet for the favorites. Unfortunately for them, Harman and Bhatia waxed hot at the right time and held off chasers to take home the titles. Both parbusters stunned everyone with rousing performances that propelled them to the top.