A historic Open Championship collapse by Brian Harman only way the Bulldog doesn’t win 1st major

Brian Harman still holds a five-shot lead despite starting 2-over on his Saturday round of the Open Championship. He didn’t let Jon Rahm’s historic 63 affect him. Instead, Harman buckled down and played his game, maintaining his large lead.

It would take a monstrous collapse for him not to capture The Open title.

The largest 54-hole lead blown at The Open is five strokes. Jean Van de Velde notoriously did it in 1999 and Macdonald Smith way back in 1925 is the only other.

Harmon’s putter continues to be his best club in the bag. The former Georgia Bulldog has unbelievably made 44-of-44 putts inside 10 feet. That statistic is astounding at a major championship. Harman hasn’t even faced a putt outside 40 feet through 54 holes.

After his round, NBC’s Cara Banks asked what his secret was.

“I can’t tell you, not the night before,” Harman said with a chuckle.

Harman may have had a rocky start to his round on Saturday, but he quickly recovered.

He made four birdies on the round to get to 12-under through 54-holes. Once Harman got back to 10-under and into a groove, things looked simple for him.

“It would have been really easy to let the wheels start spinning and really kind of let it get out of control, but I just kind of doubled down on my routine,” Harman said. “Staying patient out there is paramount. Sometimes it’s a lot harder than others. But really proud of the way that I hung in there.”

The 36-year-old closed his round with five straight pars, including the hardest hole of the course, the par-4 14th. He also made par on the intimidating par-3 17th before Harman had to find a way to make par on the final hole after driving it wide left off the tee.

Whatever Harman has found in his game is working. 18 holes stand between him and his first major championship.

He would also become just the second former Georgia Bulldog golfer to win a major. Bubba Watson is the only other to have achieved that feat.

“You’d be foolish not to envision, and I’ve thought about winning majors for my whole entire life,” Harman said. “It’s the whole reason I work as hard as I do… Tomorrow — if that’s going to come to fruition for me, it has to be all about the golf. It has to be execution and just staying in the moment.”

Savannah Leigh Richardson is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. You can follow her on Twitter @SportsGirlSL and on Instagram @savannah_leigh_sports for more golf coverage. Be sure to check out @_PlayingThrough too.