Harman strolls to Open title at Royal Liverpool

Vingegaard closes in on title after time trial win


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Brian Harman overcame an early wobble to stroll serenely to his first major title with a six-shot victory at the 151st Open Championship in Hoylake.

A one-under 70 proved more than enough for the American, who finished on 13 under at a rain-soaked Royal Liverpool.

World number three Jon Rahm finished joint second on seven under with Sepp Straka, Tom Kim and Jason Day.

Rory McIlroy ended six under, while Matthew Jordan and Tommy Fleetwood were England’s best, tied on four under.

It has been a fairytale week for local Jordan, who was on the Royal Liverpool chipping green at the age of three and became a member aged seven.

The R&A gave him the honour of hitting the opening tee shot on Thursday and his one-under-par final round on Sunday lifted him into the top 10 and qualifies him for next year’s Open at Royal Troon in Ayrshire.

It has also been a fairytale week for Harman. The 36-year-old, ranked 26th in the world, becomes just the third left-hander to win the Claret Jug – emulating Bob Charles in 1963 and Phil Mickelson in 2013.

The victory is just the third in his career, and first since 2017.

And he did it by plotting his way round the links. He only went in two bunkers all week and holed 59 out of 60 putts from inside 10 feet and had no three putts – statistics that make champions.

Harman’s lead never dropped below three despite bogeys on the second and fifth holes, the latter coming after he drove his ball into a gorse bush.

At that point Rahm was his closest challenger, three back on seven under.

But Harman responded magnificently with successive birdies on the sixth and seventh holes, while world number three Rahm stumbled with a bogey on the ninth.

But for most of the day, Harman was out of sight. Those behind were jousting for second.

McIlroy had three successive birdies from the third to get to joint second on six under, but a bogey on the 10th deflated both the Northern Irishman and his thousands of followers, huddled under umbrellas.

He closed with a 68 to record a 20th top-10 finish in a major since winning when The Open last visited Royal Liverpool in 2014.

Straka got to eight under, the lowest of any of those challenging, but bogeyed the last to post a 69 and join South Korean Kim, who had four birdies and an eagle in a four-under 67, the joint lowest round of the day.

More to follow.

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