Now a Ryder Cup team member, Brian Harman details past disappointing calls from national team captains

Zach Johnson had six happy phone calls when he made his captain’s picks for the U.S. Ryder Cup squad.

He had to make a handful of disappointing calls, as well, as the 12-player team bound for Marco Simone Golf and Country Club near Rome is set.

In the past, Brian Harman has been on the receiving end of the disappointing calls, but not this year. The 36-year-old played his way on the team as an automatic qualifier for the Americans thanks to a T-5 finish at last week’s BMW Championship. A two-time member of Team USA at both the Walker Cup (2005, 2009) and Palmer Cup (2006, 2007) as an amateur, Harman will make his professional national team debut with the added perspective of a player who has been left behind in the past.

On the season, Harman has earned 11 top-25 and six top-10 finishes on Tour, including three runner-up showings in addition to his win at the Open Championship. Performances like that keep you in the mix for a pick, but Harman knows better than anyone what it means to be on the negative end of that conversation.

“Let’s see. Jim Furyk called me and told me I wasn’t on the (2018 Ryder Cup) team. Him and I had a really nice conversation,” said Harman. “Because when he called and told me I wasn’t, I’m like, ‘Well, I know, I have not performed as well as I should have in an attempt to make this team. I understand.’ I wouldn’t have picked me either.”

“And then Steve Stricker called and told me I wasn’t making the (2017) Presidents Cup team,” he continued. “I thought I had a better shot at getting picked for that one. But Steve’s always been a dear friend of mine and I understood.”

“I never, I’ve never not gotten picked and felt like I truly deserved a spot.”

Harman did say that Davis Love III gave him a call last year about the Presidents Cup, a team that Harman desperately wanted to be on.

“But, once again, I hadn’t, I finished third in Memphis last year, I was 70th on the FedEx Cup and ended up I was playing really well at the end of the year,” he said, “but I hadn’t done anything to warrant a flier pick.”

Many players would hold grudges against captains and make excuses as to why they weren’t chosen. Instead, Harman used it as motivation and made it so he couldn’t be left off this year. Talk about the kind of player you want on a team.

Story originally appeared on GolfWeek