Scott Harvey cried when he walked off Seminole Golf Club on Saturday, and it wasn’t because of his closing triple bogey from the middle of the fairway in the final round of the George L. Coleman Invitational.
The 2014 U.S. Mid-Amateur champion also cried when he called his wife back at home in North Carolina, and later that night during an acceptance speech in the clubhouse.
Harvey’s emotions after winning (despite the final-hole stumble) what most consider one of the Mid-Amateur golf’s majors traced back to his father, Bill, the owner of a driving range not far from where they play the Wyndham Championship in Greensboro, N.C.
Bill Harvey won the senior division of The Coleman back-to-back in 1993-’94. “We were extremely close, so to put my name on the same trophy as him is quite honestly the greatest accomplishment in golf I’ve ever had,” Harvey told me after returning home early Sunday morning. “I told them at the speech last night, for me, this means more than any Masters appearance [he played there in 2015] or USGA championship could mean.”
Harvey fondly remembers riding his bicycle to the Sedgefield Driving Range, 600 yards from his house, where he hand-picked balls on the range each night—and spent hours there every day, sitting around the old cronies, listening to what they had to say.
“I can talk days about that,” Harvey said. “It was kind of a ‘Tin Cup’ range, if you will.”
The state of North Carolina bought the range in 2010 and built a road right through the middle of it, but the legend of Bill Harvey in Carolinas golf history lives on even after his death in 2013 at age 82.
They felt it at Seminole, and applauded Scott—who owns commercial and rental property and a property-management company—after he shot a closing 74 and held on to win with even-par 216 total, a stroke over Matthew Swan, a financial advisor from Atlanta who played at Alabama, and Matt Broome, a player manager on the PGA Tour and a former golfer at Furman.
“My dad was a regular guy,” Harvey said. “They were very fond of him at Seminole, and because of him, they’ve kind of taken me in. At least that’s the sense I get. They’re almost like mentors. I get an email when I do something good, and that’s because of dad and the neat relationship he had down there.”
Finishing fourth, two strokes back, was Stewart Hagestad, who beat Harvey last fall to win the 2016 U.S. Mid-Amateur, then earned low amateur at this year’s Masters and, based on that performance, is a favorite to make the U.S. Walker Cup team this September at Los Angeles C.C.
“If it wasn’t me, there’s nobody else in the field I would want more to win it than him,” Hagestad told me. “This means the world to him because he’s now on the board [in the Seminole locker room] with his father.”
While at The Coleman, Harvey had conversations with American Walker Cup captain Spider Miller that indicated he’s still in the mix to make this year’s team after playing for the U.S. in 2015. Harvey is going all in to try and play, with his schedule to include the Porter Cup, Western Amateur and U.S. Amateur in hopes of earning a spot for another Mid-Amateur at LACC. As Harvey said, “It’s different for Mid-Amateurs. They can’t go play the Pac-12 [Championship] just to make an impression on the captain.
At 38, Harvey has a son, Cameron, who’s going to turn 8 this summer. Scott doesn’t want to miss many of his boy’s exploits while he’s playing Mid-Amateur golf, so he’s going to give the Walker Cup a big push, and then cut back. Harvey doesn’t envision being competitive when Seminole hosts the Walker Cup in 2021.
“What makes Mid-Ams so great is that they’re real people, with real jobs and families,” Harvey says. “It’s not playing golf for a living. It’s playing golf when you can.”
And it's also showing that you can still play golf.