Steve Harwell (CGA/Twitter photo)
Steve Harwell of Mooresville, N.C., was able to go wire-to-wire to capture the 34th North Carolina Senior Amateur Championship. Harwell has two other CGA Championships to his name, including the Carolinas Senior Four-Ball in April but this marks the first individual CGA title of his illustrious amateur career.
“Words can't even begin to describe it,” Harwell said. “I've got several seconds in just about every Carolinas event but first is what you want and I finally got one. So it's just a great relief and accomplishment to do that.”
Harwell came into the final round with a one-shot lead but by the time his group made the turn, the lead was gone and Dean Channell of Cary, N.C., had played himself into a tie for first. Harwell was able to recapture a one-shot lead with a par on the par-4 11th but it was the par-4 13th where Harwell was able to really separate himself from the pack.
With a sand wedge in hand, Harwell landed his approach shot about five feet past the flagstick. It spun back and went into the hole for an eagle, two.
“That was a big swing there and I started to feel like I was in a good place,” Harwell said. “I wasn't scoreboard watching. I was just trying to stay in the moment and hit solid golf shots.”
Harwell was able to put his tee shot to about seven feet from the hole on the par-3 16th and made the putt to go up six shots over his nearest competitor with two holes remaining.
“I finally looked at (the leaderboard) after I hit it on the 18th green and saw I had a pretty big league,” Harwell said. “At that point, I knew it was going to work out.”
Bermuda Run Country Club’s East Course, especially the greens, were quite the challenge for the field. Harwell was the only golfer in the field to finish the 54-hole event under par. He finished at 3-under 213 total for the championship. He was one of two golfers, the other being William Jamieson of Cary, N.C., who shot under par on Thursday’s final round.
Our first round co-leader, Russ Perry of Winston-Salem, N.C., matched his second-round score of 3-over 75 on Thursday to tie Channell for second place at 3-over 219 total for the championship.
Four players finished tied for fourth at 5-over 221 for the championship including Jamieson, Lionell Sutton of La Grange, Doug Owens of Albemarle and Paul Simson of Raleigh.
The victory marks the third large amateur win for Harwell in the last month. Aside from his two CGA Championships, Harwell was able to win the senior division title at Seminole Golf Club’s prestigious Coleman Invitational.
Harwell now has his sights set on the U.S. Senior Amateur being played later this year at Old Chatham Golf Club in Durham, N.C.; a club that Harwell is quite familiar with.
“I didn't get to try last year because of a work commitment and it was my first year eligible,” Harwell said. “I’ve played there quite a few times and I'd love to be in the field.”
ABOUT THE North Carolina Senior Amateur
Must be a resident of North Carolina and a
member of a CGA member club. Maximum
handicap for ages 55-69 is 10.4; ages 70+
maximum handicap of 15.4.
View Complete Tournament Information