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Scott Harvey wins George C. Thomas Invitational
Scott Harvey (Golfweek photo)
Scott Harvey (Golfweek photo)
LOS ANGELES, California (June 25, 2016) -- Scott Harvey (North Carolina) proved once again why he is the top-ranked Mid-Am in the world, taking a prestigious title at the George C. Thomas Invitational today in a sudden-death playoff.

Competing at the par-70 Los Angeles Country Club, Harvey closed out the 54-hole tournament with a round of 2-over 72. Leading after 36 holes, he was caught by LACC member Stewart Hagestad, who fired a final round of 70 for a tournament total of even par 210.

And the best part? The 2015 USA Walker Cup team member got a chance to play extra holes (and win) in front of 2017 USA Walker Cup captain Spider Miller.

Leading by one on the last tee, Harvey steered his 5-iron approach a bit too far left, away from the pin tucked on the right side of the green. The ball rolled through the fast and firm surface, and briefly held up in the long fescue that surrounds the bunkers before trickling into an almost unplayable spot behind that same tall grass. His only option was to play away from the pin, to 40 feet, and from there he two putted.

Sound like a U.S. Open? That's because Los Angeles Country Club is now a U.S. Open course. After hosting the 2017 Walker Cup, LACC will host the 2023 U.S. Open -- and what a venue it will be.

Hagestad is a member of LACC who played college golf at USC, where he graduated in 2013. He's got two U.S. Amateur appearances under his belt. He may not be as well known as Harvey, but with the home course advantage and "under-the- radar" status as a new mid-am, he was going to be no pushover.

When the two players finished deadlocked, they played a three hole aggregate playoff to settle the tie. When that didn't do it, the pair headed for sudden- death, starting at the par-5 first hole.

"During the aggregate playoff I hooked my drive left there," said Harvey. "So I put my anti-left swing on my drive in sudden-death and blocked it right, but hit a good hybrid over the trees to about 20 feet short of a front pin."

With the greens fast and firm, Hagestad had trouble getting his third shot from 50 yards to stop, leaving him 40 feet for birdie. As Harvey approached his ball sitting with twenty feet of fast fairway between it and the pin, the 2015 Walker Cup player pulled out the putter.

"I thought of all those times in England we putted from well off the green, and putted it up to three inches for an easy birdie," said Harvey.

When Hagestad couldn't convert, the George C. Thomas title was Harvey's, in his first year playing the event and first time at Los Angeles Country Club. Doing it in front of Spider Miller was certainly a bonus for the No. 1 ranked Mid-Amateur in AmateurGolf.com Mid-Am Rankings.

Mike McCoy of Iowa posted 1-over 211 to finish just a shot out of the playoff in third place. Rounding out the top five were Kris Mikkelson of Georgia (3- over 213) and Rob Couture of Texas (6-over 216).

SENIOR DIVISION

The Senior Division also required a playoff, as Chip Lutz of Pennsylvania and Steve Hudson of Alabama finished regulation at 1-over. Both players passed the 36-hole leaders with rounds of 1-under 69 in the final round -- Hudson in the third to last group and Lutz in the second to last pairing.

Lutz, the 2015 U.S. Senior Amateur champ, had to birdie the difficult 18th hole to get into the lead. Like Mid-Am winner Harvey, he had a 5-iron from 195 yards into the tucked back-right pin.

"I was getting some mixed info and didn’t know how I stood," said Lutz. "I thought I needed birdies."

"My 5-iron went between the bunker and the pin," Lutz said. "It rolled up against the back collar and came back to 5 feet and I made the left-to-right slider for 69."

In the aggregate playoff, Lutz continued his momentum, hitting his greenside bunker shot to inches for an easy birdie on the par-5 first, then following that up with a solid par on the second hole as Hudson went par-bogey. Taking a two stroke lead into the final hole of the playoff Lutz made a final par for the win.

MORE ABOUT SCOTT HARVEY

Golf runs in many families. Look no further than the PGA Tour to see that. But amateur golf is a tradition that runs deep as well. Scott Harvey's dad, the late Bill Harvey, is a member of the Carolinas Golf Hall of Fame who played the competitive amateur circuit all of his life.

"My dad won the Porter Cup, the Rice Planters, and a number of other events," said Harvey. "He operated a driving range, and I grew up practicing there, and picking balls by hand."

Harvey played collegiality at the University of West Florida, and later High Point University.

His amateur career jumped to a new level when he captured the U.S. Mid-Amateur in 2014, earning an invitation to the 2015 Masters and just about any competitive event he chose to compete in. The pinnacle, a Mid-Am spot on the 2015 Walker Cup, playing for USA in a losing effort against GB&I at Royal Lytham and St. Annes in England.

After being named the 2015 Carolinas Player-of- the-Year for the 5th-straight time in 2015, Harvey captured the Carolinas Mid-Am in April and made a run at qualifying for the U.S. Open in sectional qualifying before winning the Thomas. We like his chances of getting a chance to be on the winning side of the Walker Cup when USA plays on home soil in 2017.

ABOUT THE George C. Thomas Invitational

54-hole stroke play invitational with Mid-Am and Senior divisions is named for George C. Thomas, Jr., the legendary golf course architect who designed the courses for Bel-Air Country Club, The Los Angeles Country Club, Riviera Country Club and others in the 1920s. Thomas was a prominent rose breeder on the East Coast before gaining fame as a golf course designer. Los Angeles Country Club will also host the 2017 Walker Cup.

View Complete Tournament Information

Results For George C. Thomas Invitational Golf Tournament
Place  PtsScores
1NCScott HarveyKernersville, NC30070-68-72=210
2CAStewart HagestadNewport Beach, CA20072-68-70=210
3IAMike McCoyW. Des Moines, IA10072-69-70=211
4GAKris MikkelsenAtlanta, GA10068-72-73=213
5TXRob CoutureDallas, TX10072-74-70=216

View full results for George C. Thomas Invitational Golf Tournament

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