PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Rookie Brian Harman wasn’t sure he would get into the Honda Classic when he arrived as the second alternate at week’s start.
By round’s end Friday, the lefthander was in the tournament record book.
With a 9-under-par 61, Harman smashed PGA National’s Champion Course tournament record (shared by seven players before Friday) by three shots. He wanted more. Walking off the 16th green, he was thinking about becoming the fifth man to shoot 59 in a PGA Tour event. Posting that score on the brutish Champion Course would have ranked as one of golf’s special feats.
“I was like, `Man, if I birdie these last two holes, I'm going to shoot 59,’ but then I looked at the pin on 17,” Harman said.
After a par there, Harman tried to make eagle at the 18th to shoot 59. He came up just short trying to reach the par 5 in two, then missed a 5-foot birdie chance for a 60.
“This is probably one of the hardest golf courses we play all year,” said Harman, 25, a former All-American at Georgia. “Just to have a chance to do something special like that is really humbling, and it's really cool.”
Harman, it should be noted, is another youthful devotee of the belly putter. He switched to it at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am last month.