By Sean Martin, PGATOUR.COM
SAN MARTIN, Calif. – Brian Harman said his iron play has been one of the weaker parts of his game in his first two season on TOUR. It worked well for him Thursday at the Frys.com Open. Harman shot 6-under 65 to sit one behind leader Jeff Overton.
He hit 14 of 18 greens while making eight birdies and two bogeys. His approach shots finished an average of 19 feet, 11 inches from the hole. His longest birdie putt was 20 feet, 11 inches on the first hole. Seven of his eight birdies came on putts inside 15 feet.
“I’ve really struggled with (iron play) the past couple years on TOUR,” said Harman, who ranked outside the top 125 in greens in regulation in each of his first two PGA TOUR seasons. “This offseason I put a lot of work into really controlling my distances and trajectories, and at least for today it paid off.”
Harman finished 94th in the FedExCup in 2013, one year after finishing 51st in the standings thanks to a fifth-place finish at The Barclays. Harman had two top-10s in 2013 – both of which came in North Carolina (T-10, Wells Fargo Championship; T-3, Wyndham Championship) – but also missed 14 of 29 cuts. He missed the cut in both of his starts in the FedExCup Playoffs after finishing 11th (Reno-Tahoe Open) and T-3 (Wyndham) in his previous two starts.
“Last year was a grind,” said Harman, 26.”I really didn’t play very well at all in stretches. I played well a couple of times, played well enough to keep my card, thank goodness. It was just really tough with the year being so short. I feel a bit more freed up this year.”
He couldn’t have asked for a much better start to the 2013-14 season.
“I got off to a good start," he said. "I made some putts and I stayed realy down to earth and didn’t get too up or too down."