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How the Genesis Scottish Open helped Brian Harman prepare for his victory at The Open 

How the Genesis Scottish Open helped Brian Harman prepare for his victory at The Open 

From acclimatising to the environment to getting used to a different style of golf course, defending Open Champion Brian Harman says that preparing at the Genesis Scottish Open helped him to achieve success at Royal Liverpool last year.


When reigning Champion Golfer of the Year Brian Harman first teed up at the Genesis Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club in 2022, it proved to be a catalyst that helped him to record his best ever performance in the golf's oldest Major.

Although he missed the cut that first year in East Lothian, the American finished in a tie for sixth the following week at The 150th Open in St. Andrews, proving that an extra week of getting settled into a new environment and time zone was far more valuable that his result suggested.

Brian Harman

Harman has readily admitted that it "usually takes me a couple laps to kind of get ready and kind of figure a place out", and it's clear that's all that he needed to work out the course on Scotland's Golf Coast.

Following his first top ten in The Open in 2022, the American returned to the Genesis Scottish Open for a second consecutive time last year, and previous experience showed in abundance.

Posting 67, 65 and 67 over the first three days meant Harman was just two shots behind 54-hole leader Rory McIlroy heading into the final round. A day of difficult windy conditions that had final round tee times pushed up saw him slip down to a tie for 12th by the end of the week, but he was still quick to credit that experience when he lifted the Claret Jug just a week later.

"I think coming over for the Scottish helped a lot getting ready and putting all my eggs in the basket of playing well here," Harman had reflected at the time.

It's a point he has reiterated on several occasions, calling his choice to play in the Genesis Scottish Open a 'very valuable experience'.

Brian Harman-1568005470

For Harman, that experience of coming to play the week earlier helps to get him used to a new routine without the jet lag, while also acclimatising to the conditions of both the weather and the different style of golf course.

"Getting used to the weather, the time change -- I feel like it takes me two or three days to get used to the time change," he explained during a press conference last month.

"You feel fine the first couple days, and that third and fourth day you're just dragging. Getting all that out of your system, getting used to a good routine and just getting accustomed to the weather, and the turf is so much firmer than what we're accustomed to over here when we play normally. So getting used to that, getting used to the strike, the way the ball wants to run out around the greens. There's a lot of stuff. There's a lot of nuance to golf over there, and it takes a lot of preparation.

"I adore the golf over there. It's a thinking-man's game. You have to be able to hit every single type of golf shot. Around the greens is so important. There's a lot of strategy off the tee. I look forward to that. I feel as though the game gets away from that sometimes, and so it feels like it's refreshing to go over there and play hard golf that's not just a one-stop shop."

And while his love affair with golf in Scotland continues at this week's Genesis Scottish Open, that doesn't mean he's finding it any easier to adjust.

"I really enjoy the change of pace that links golf provides and have enjoyed the Scottish and the fans here so it was an easy decision [to play again].

"As much as I love coming over it’s still a big adjustment with time and comfort and it takes awhile to get settled,"

3) I have no plans to change any sort of preparation for this week and next. I let my practice the week of determine how I approach the golf tournament.