TOUR Championship

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Atlanta, Georgia, USA

East Lake Golf Club

Brian Harman

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: We would like to welcome our current Open champion, Brian Harman, to the interview room here at the 2023 TOUR Championship. Brian, making your third career start here at East Lake, maybe some opening comments on your game coming into the week.

BRIAN HARMAN: Yeah, I had a pretty good showing last week. I don't think anyone could have caught Viktor. He played so great. Congratulations to him. It's always nice to be in Atlanta, my home state of Georgia.

Being in the TOUR Championship's always a sign that you've had a really good year. I've had a really good year, so I'm excited. Game feels good. It's always a busy week here, but be ready to get going tomorrow.

THE MODERATOR: You mentioned your home state, growing up in Savannah, live in Sea Island, obviously spent a few years in Athens, and last night threw out the first pitch in the Braves game. What was that like?

BRIAN HARMAN: Yeah, I grew up watching the Braves. It's kind of all we ever watched on TV growing up, so really excited to do that. Threw it from the rubber, hit the catcher's mitt, so didn't fall, didn't make Sportscenter Not Top 10, so very excited about that.

THE MODERATOR: Awesome. We'll turn it over to some questions.

Q. Obviously you're an automatic qualifier for the Ryder Cup. Just your thoughts on Brooks and whether or not you think LIV guys should be on the team, if that matters?

BRIAN HARMAN: I think if -- you know, Brooks he's right there. I think he would be a pretty good addition to the team. I'm not totally familiar with his record in Ryder Cups, but the experience would certainly help, especially considering there's probably going to be a fair amount of rookies over there.

In my opinion, the goal of the Ryder Cup is to win, so whoever Zach thinks that can help us win the Ryder Cup I think needs to be on the team.

Q. I understand you brought some hardware to the Georgia football facility and wondered how that came about and your thoughts on doing that.

BRIAN HARMAN: Yeah, I got to spend the afternoon in Athens. I took a tour of the football facility, an incredibly impressive place. I hadn't been back to Athens since 2016, so it was nice to go there, reminisce, and remember some stuff from college. Just super proud of the way that Kirby Smart's handling that football team.

Q. You grew up in this kind of heat here in Georgia. Do you think it gives you any advantage playing in it and what do you do to deal with the heat and humidity?

BRIAN HARMAN: You would think it would be a little bit of an advantage, but maybe the heat, being in it for so long has worn you down. I'm not sure yet. It never seems to get easy to play in heat like this.

The TOUR's done a really nice job with some amendments to the tee boxes with some cold towels and stuff and some more hydration stuff. So we'll be a little bit more prepared than we were in Memphis, I think. Memphis kind of snuck up on everybody.

So I just hope everybody stays safe, especially people watching. We watch a lot more fans go down than players and caddies. So the fans that are coming out need to be really careful because you can get in a lot of trouble out there.

Q. As it applies to the Player of the Year vote, I just asked Rory and he said it kind of boils down to what you value in a successful season between Scottie Scheffler and Jon Rahm. Do you have a thought on which one of those would be your Player of the Year right now and can that change this week?

BRIAN HARMAN: It could certainly change this week. Gosh, yeah, it's so close. Scottie's had one of the most incredible stretches of ball striking that we've maybe ever seen in golf. And then Jon Rahm, especially at the beginning of the year, he just seemed almost unbeatable. They're two incredible players and I don't think there's a bad choice for Player of the Year. I don't have a specific opinion, no. They're both really, really good. I certainly wouldn't want to make one of 'em mad before I have to play against them week, so I'll refrain.

Q. After this season and all the twists and turns, for players, how significant is it for them to finally make it to the TOUR Championship and to compete. And for you specifically after this season, how confident are you coming in that you can win the FedExCup?

BRIAN HARMAN: Well, I'm six shots back of a really incredible player, so I'm going to have to probably play my best golf of the year to have a chance. I think I have a chance to play my best golf of the year. My chances are as good as anybody's. But starting six shots back, it's a steep hill to climb for sure, especially on a place like this where there's a lot of longer par-4s to where you're playing for par a lot. So to try to make up ground can be really tough around here.

Q. I'm sure you were knocking off some rust in Memphis. What did it mean to get back on horse and get back in contention last week?

BRIAN HARMAN: Well, I just needed the reps. I spent two weeks at home. I think I went and practiced maybe one day, two days. I was kind of taking a victory lap and doing some partying and seeing some friends I hadn't seen in a long time. So I soaked all that in. I hated that I wasn't in form when I showed up to Memphis, but I kind of knew that I wasn't. So I kind of had to use Memphis to get reps that I would have normally gotten the week prior.

It's not that I'm testing stuff in the golf tournament, but I'm fully aware that I'm not all there as far as my game. It was a little closer last week. I putted well, chipped well last week. I had a couple good days of ball striking, so if I can keep building on that, that will be the goal this week.

Q. Do you feel like you can have some of your better golf ahead of you and how do you do that at 36 or what's the key to maybe having some of your better years at that age in a young man's game, as you called it?

BRIAN HARMAN: I think I spent too much time as a younger man worrying about things I couldn't do. I feel a lot more secure in what I can do now and trying to improve the things that I'm good at and trying to be elite at a few things, not just okay at a lot of things.

Q. Two things for you. Assuming you're a better player than you were last year or two years ago, to what percentage would you give that to skill, execution, playability, and what percentage would you give that to shear belief and confidence?

BRIAN HARMAN: Yeah, I never lacked the ability to execute a variety of golf shots and make putts and hit great chips and things of that nature, but I lacked the consistency to have a process that allowed me to get into that frame of mind every day, and as I've gotten older I feel like I've developed, like, a system to where I can get closer to that -- like, kind of on the cusp of performing at the best that I can. I'm just trying to get to where I'm performing to my level more often than I'm not.

Q. What took you so long to figure that out?

BRIAN HARMAN: Really hardheaded. Really stubborn and hardheaded and just -- I've always kind of had my back totally against the wall before I changed anything. But one of my strengths is that when something starts working, I can kind of grab onto it and kind of run with it and kind of beat it to the ground. I'll stick with something until it's inherently not working.

Q. You mentioned kind of the offense of Lucas being labeled journeyman last week. How would you feel if someone had referred to you that way two years ago?

BRIAN HARMAN: The journeyman term to me, it's never, the connotation is always negative. It always implies a guy that's bounced back and forth, losing his card. So I just, I just couldn't, I just, I don't like throwing that term around to a guy especially as talented as Lucas. I would have taken offense to it if it was about me as well.

Q. Has anyone called you that before? Just clarifying.

BRIAN HARMAN: Yes, they have.

Q. How many captains from various Cups have called you to tell you you're not making the team and which captain delivered it the best and maybe which one hurt the most?

BRIAN HARMAN: Let's see. Jim Furyk called me and told me I wasn't on the Paris team. Him and I had a really nice conversation. Because when he called and told me I wasn't, I'm like, well, I know, like, I have not performed as well as I should have, like, in an attempt to make this team. Like, I understand. Like, I wouldn't have picked me either. And I just kind of explained to him and I asked him, I'm like, Hey, what did you think about -- you know, because when you're trying to make your first team -- and we had a nice chat about that.

And then Steve Stricker called and told me I wasn't making the Presidents Cup team. 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.

Q. Davis call you?

BRIAN HARMAN: Davis called last year. I wanted to be on that team. But, once again, I hadn't, I finished third in Memphis last year, I was 70th on the FedExCup and ended up I was playing really well at the end of the year, but I hadn't done anything to warrant a flier pick.

Q. Do you think form, sounds like you think form's more important than experience or being a really good at match play or fitting the course.

BRIAN HARMAN: No, I don't. Because, look, the Ryder Cup, you know, coming up, it's, what, two months away almost? That's a lifetime in golf. It's a complete lifetime. So I think you have to marry the two. I think form is important, but I don't think it's the end-all be-all. Because I've seen guys at Walker Cups and different places that have shown up and it looks like they have got no game and then they go out into the singles match and beat a guy 7 and 6. It just, having the attitude to rise to the occasion is probably the most important thing. But obviously you have to be in some form.

Q. You told us at the Open Championship that you just were getting a new tractor. Just curious, if you were to win this thing, what would you splurge on?

BRIAN HARMAN: I got everything I need, man. College funds. Always splurge it on college funds.

THE MODERATOR: Brian, thanks so much for coming in, best of luck this week.

BRIAN HARMAN: Thanks, guys. Appreciate it.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
136080-1-1044 2023-08-23 15:24:00 GMT

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