Brian Harman looks for major breakthrough at US Open

ERIN, Wis. (AP) Brian Harman stood on the podium with hands on hips, giving answers in the kind of matter-of-fact voice expected from someone used to the spotlight of a major championship.

Harman might be the surprise leader after three rounds at the U.S. Open, but there was nothing ordinary about his game.

The left-hander shot a 67 to reach 12 under and take a one-shot lead over Justin Thomas, Brooks Koepka and Tommy Fleetwood.

''Yeah, first cut made, too (at the U.S. Open),'' Harman said. ''So we're breaking down all kinds of barriers.''

The 30-year-old Harman has five top-10 finishes and two victories since joining the tour in 2012, most recently at the Wells Fargo Championship in May. Harman made a 30-foot birdie putt on the final hole to hold off Dustin Johnson and Pat Perez by a stroke.

But the third-round leader at the U.S. Open?

Harman is playing in just his eighth major, and it's only the third time he has made the cut.

When asked, Harman said that he plays with a proverbial chip on his shoulder. He showed spunk after holding off Johnson at Wells Fargo, a victory that secured him a spot at Erin Hills.

''I think since my dad dropped me off at football practice and told me to not be disappointed if I didn't get to play at all,'' Harman said, drawing laughs. He is listed at 5-foot-7, 150 pounds.

''I played a lot,'' a smiling Harman said.

Harman won the 2003 U.S. Junior Amateur, putting him position to become the fourth player to win both the Junior Amateur and U.S. Open titles. He also could become the first left-hander to win a U.S. Open.

Harman had one bogey Saturday, at the par-4 third hole, to go with six birdies. He said he has a plan in the works for Sunday.

In between, he was spending a routine night in with the family.

''I'm going to enjoy my time tonight with my little girl and my wife. We'll probably watch some TV and hang out,'' Harman said.

''But I'm confident that I am prepared for whatever happens,'' he added, ''whether something bad happens or something good happens - I'll just rely on that confidence.''

---

More AP golf: apnews.com/tag/apf-Golf

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide—from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.