Golf

What does it *really* feel like to be a major champion? Brian Harman explains

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Brian Harman had a memorable homecoming with the claret jug.
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Just over two weeks after claiming the greatest triumph of his career at the Open Championship, Brian Harman was back to the grind at the PGA Tour’s first playoff event, the FedEx St. Jude. As Harman took to the interview podium ahead of the tournament’s start, he marveled at his change in fortune.
“I will say that life is better as a major champion than not,” he said. “It’s been a wild ride, man.”
Harman revealed that he spent the night of his victory celebrating with his agent into the wee hours before boarding a flight home to decompress with his family in a rented lake house. He’s also enjoyed mowing grass with his new tractor. Oh yeah — and celebrating.
“Probably partied a little too much,” he admitted.
But what’s life really like when you’re a major champion? According to Harman, reminders of the accomplishment have come in waves.
“There’s like different layers of it sinking in,” he said. “So I go visit my family — we rented a lake house, and after a few days I started feeling kind of normal, and then I go home and I have this just overwhelming support and a greet-and-meet at the airport. Then it takes a few days for that to sink in.
“Then yesterday I come out here to hit balls, and I was seeing all my fellow players, and it’s the first time I had seen them, and everyone is congratulating me. It’ll be another few days to try to let all that sink in.”
Another perk Harman is getting used to is his newfound recognition. He was greeted at the airport in Memphis by autograph-seekers, and discovered that frequenting restaurants incognito is now a thing of the past — something about which he said he sought advice from Scottie Scheffler, another player for whom fame came fast and furious.
“It’s a new experience, people kind of recognizing me,” Harman said. I’ve always enjoyed going out to dinner when I’m on the road by myself, just going to a hole-in-the-wall place and getting dinner, and it’s probably going to be a minute before I get to enjoy that again.”
A small price to pay, surely, to have the claret jug in your possession. And speaking of the jug, Harman says the presence of the iconic trophy is yet another surreal reminder of his new status as a major champion.
“I’ve kept the claret jug right on top of our kitchen counter,” he said. “My wife has asked me to move it several times, and it’s like, no, that’s a hard no, it’s going to stay right here.
“I’ve caught myself walking by it looking at it, and be like, ‘Damn, man, I still can’t believe it happened.’ I’m very grateful, very thankful. It was a very wild experience.”

As a four-year member of Columbia’s inaugural class of female varsity golfers, Jessica can out-birdie everyone on the masthead. She can out-hustle them in the office, too, where she’s primarily responsible for producing both print and online features, and overseeing major special projects, such as GOLF’s inaugural Style Is­sue, which debuted in February 2018. Her origi­nal interview series, “A Round With,” debuted in November of 2015, and appeared in both in the magazine and in video form on GOLF.com.
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