Golf tends to toss up great out-of-nowhere stories about once a month, and March's version arrived on the second day: Brian Harman, the second alternate coming into this week's Honda Classic, stood on the tee at 18 with a chance at achieving golf nirvana: the fabled sub-60 round.
Alas, it wasn't to be; he needed an eagle to pull off a 59, and "only" managed a par. Still, Harman's 61, a 9-under round, was good enough to set the course record at PGA National by three strokes. He sat just two strokes off the lead with players still on the course Friday afternoon.
"I walked off 16 and I was like, man, if I birdie these last two holes, I'm going to shoot 59," he said afterward. "I hit a great drive on 18 and had a chance ‑‑ I mean, I had a chance." His approach on 18 found the bunker, he wasn't able to get up and down, and he missed a 5-footer that would have left him at 60. Still, not a bad afternoon's work.
Making Harman's achievement far more impressive is the difficulty of the PGA National course. "This is probably one of the hardest golf courses we play all year, and just to have a chance to do something special like that is really humbling and it's really cool," he said. "I saw where Davis [Love III] had shot 64 yesterday ... I'm like, How did he shoot 64 out here? This place is so hard."
He got some key advice from a former U.S. Open champ that may well have helped. "I really tried to slow myself down," he said. "Exchanged some text messages with Lucas Glover last night. He's been a really good friend to me, and every time that I've needed any help, he's always given me some advice. I asked him, I said, 'Man, how do you get out there and take your time?' He goes, 'Well, try to walk a little slower.' I did that today."
While we hope for the best for Mr. Harman in his future endeavors, we can say with authority that if this leads to even slower play on the course? Apocalypse.