RSM ClassicNovember 21, 2019

Scott Harrington, the PGA Tour's feel-good rookie story, continues to play good golf

Sam Greenwood

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. — Three months ago, Scott Harrington's future in golf was still uncertain. Now, 16 years after turning pro, he's becoming a fixture on PGA Tour leader boards.

Harrington continued his fantastic fall with an opening 65 at the RSM Classic on Thursday, touring Sea Island's Seaside Course for the first time in competition without dropping a shot. Of course, as a PGA Tour rookie, Harrington, 39, has constantly faced firsts since earning his card in the Korn Ferry Tour regular-season finale in August, but he's displayed a quick learning curve, including a runner-up at last month's Houston Open.

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"Frankly, I knew I could play out here and to be able to go out and do it is certainly validating and reaffirming," Harrington told reporters after. "I felt really comfortable from the first round at Greenbrier all the way through this fall and I knew that my game set up well for this tour. I've always kind of felt that way, but to go out and do it … Houston was big for me."

Even bigger is the improved health of Harrington's wife, Jennifer. Diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2017, the past couple years have been trying for the couple and included Scott putting his career on hold in 2018. Now in remission, though, Jennifer was in attendance when Scott earned his PGA Tour card for the first time at the WinCo Foods Portland Open, where the two shared an emotional embrace that went viral.

Scott says Jennifer is doing great, but she has a routine scan coming up, something the two have learned you can never take for granted.

"There's a lot of anxiety around that, but the relief when we've gotten the positive news has been huge, and it definitely lets me kind of just focus on what I'm doing out here," Harrington said.

For Harrington, it's a focus, and a level of play that he's been able to carry over from the Korn Ferry Tour season into the wrap-around portion of the PGA Tour schedule.

"It's huge, it's huge," Harrington said. "Before guys would get their cards and they would have to take a three month break to sit there and mull over like this huge opportunity that's been presented to them."

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Another round or two like Thursday's and Harrington and his wife will have a different type of decision to mull over: whether she should fly in to see the final round.

"Yeah, we'll see," Harrington said. "We'll cross that bridge when we come to it. I've got a lot of golf to play."


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