Harman finds a following at The Players


PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- Brian Harman has earned some new followers over the last two days at The Players Championship.

'I feel like I got some fans yesterday,' he said. 'I saw someone on Twitter started a Free Brian Harman movement. I thought that was hilarious.'

Harman will have two more days to impress his new gallery as he fired 68 on Friday to reach 3 under for the tournament, five back of leader Zach Johnson.

The Georgia Bulldog got out to a bland start Friday, making nine pars and a bogey in his first 10 holes. On the wrong side of the cut line, Harman jumpstarted his day with an eagle at the par-3 second hole – his 11th of the day.

'I didn't get off to a good start today,' Harman said. 'I wasn't in a really good frame of mind. But I hit a great shot into No. 2 that stopped 15 feet from the cup. I made that for eagle for my first under-par score of the day. I just gained a little bit of confidence and rode it all the way in.'

The left-hander made three more birdies after that, including a hole-out with a lob wedge at the par-3 eighth after a drop from the cart path. That birdie drew a spirited reaction from one particular fan.

'My caddie said a guy behind me threw his beer up in the air and spilled it all over himself,' Harman said. 'That's why we play the game. Having that support was awesome. I'll go back over there right now (and buy the fan another beer).'

Harman got into the field on Thursday in a bizarre turn of events. D.A. Points withdrew after his name was called on the first tee, but PGA Tour officials did not learn of Points' decision until his group had already played the first hole. After almost two hours of discussion, the Tour upgraded Harman from the first alternate slot into the field. He shot 1-over 73 on Thursday, playing by himself in a manufactured tee time.

On Friday, Harman played with Ryan Moore and Bud Cauley in the slot originally intended for Paul Casey, who withdrew on Thursday. Having partners helped, but fans still know him as the black sheep of yesterday's pairings sheet.

'People in the crowd were calling out my name, saying, 'What's up, solo?',' he said. 'So I found some friends today.'

Now within striking distance of the lead, Harman is taking his chances seriously.

'For me, this is a major,' he said. 'I feel like this is the fifth major.'