˘ PGA TOUR
Outdoorsman Brian Harman joins the ranks
of PGA Tour winners with an impressive
victory at the John Deere Classic
By JoHn streGe
Brian Harman has a keen eye for fashion, if by fashion one is open to camouflage, plaid and denim. Earlier this year he appeared on Golf Channel’s Morning Drive clad in a long-sleeved plaid shirt, untucked, and faded blue jeans.
“Looking good on Morning Drive,” his girlfriend Kelly Van
Slyke tweeted, a few weeks before Harman proposed to her
by taping the engagement ring inside the pocket of her own
It is a match made in, well, a duck blind.
Harman is an avid outdoorsman and the evidence is
unavoidable. His favorite app is Ducks Unlimited, he says, his
favorite activity (outside of golf) bow hunting. Photos of fish
or ducks or other prey dominate his Twitter page. He and
Kelly are registered at Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s.
The last part is not true. We think.
At any rate, Harman, 27, went Deere hunting last week and
bagged the first victory of his three-year PGA Tour career.
He had rounds of 63, 68, 65 and 66 (he’s apparently proficient
at hitting targets) to defeat Zach Johnson by a stroke in the
John Deere Classic in Silvis, Ill.
It earned him, at the 11th hour, a start in the British Open.
“Passport and jackets,” he said, when asked whether he had
planned ahead. “I’m heading across the pond.”
It also will earn him an invitation to play near home in the
spring. Harman is a native of Savannah and a Georgia Bulldog,
“I might as well have been
making the biggest deci-
sion of my life if I wasn’t
playing at Augusta,”
he told the Savannah
Morning News of his proposing to Kelly on April 8, a couple days
before the start of the 2014 Masters.
On April 8, 2015, they can celebrate the anniversary of
their engagement in Augusta, on the eve of his first Masters
Those thoughts occurred to him as he homed in on victory,
contrary to the equivalent of fire-and-brimstone that every
sport psychologist preaches: Don’t get ahead of yourself.
“You have to entertain those thoughts at some point or another,” he said. “I think anyone who says they blocked all that
out, they’re being a little facetious. But when those thoughts
enter, it’s like, ‘What’s the best way to get those things you
want?’ It’s like, ‘I’ve got eight holes left, and I’ve got to play
these eight holes like I play them all the time.’ ”
Harman played the final eight at TPC Deere Run in two under,
including a defensive bogey at the 18th hole, to which he took a
two-shot lead. Consecutive birdies at 14, 15 and 16 gave him the
cushion that allowed him to ease his way into the winner’s circle.