Harvey follows in father’s footsteps at the Coleman

The Coleman Invitational concluded on Saturday at Seminole Golf Club in Juno Beach, Florida. In the mid-amateur division Scott Harvey of Greensboro, North Carolina followed in his father’s footsteps with an emotional victory and in the senior division Doug Hanzel of Savannah, Georgia held off a great final round charge from Tim Jackson to win by one.


The final round was played in typically windy conditions over the firm and fast seaside course built by Donald Ross. Playing in his first Coleman, recent low amateur honoree at The Masters Stewart Hagestad started the day with a two shot lead in the mid-amateur division after opening with rounds of 71-69. Harvey was only two back after opening with rounds of 71-71. In the senior division Doug Hanzel held a two shot lead after opening with rounds of 70-72 while 2012 champion Brady Exber was two behind and sitting three shots back were Matt Sughrue and new tournament chairman Alan Fadel.

In the mid-amateur division, Harvey holed two early birdies and made the turn with a three stroke advantage, ultimately finishing at 216 even par for the tournament and winning by one shot over Matthew Swan and Matt Broome. Hagestad finished fourth while Michael Muehr had the low round of the day of two under par 70 to move up to fifth place.

In the senior division, the round of the day belonged to Tim Jackson whose final round 67 moved him from four over par to one under par. Hanzel was playing the last hole with a two shot lead until Jackson made birdie to narrow the gap and apply additional pressure. Hanzel was able to two putt Seminole’s difficult 18th green to secure the senior title by one stroke.

Of particular note is the connection between Scott Harvey and his father. Bill Harvey passed away in 2013 at the age of 82 as one of the most decorated amateurs in North Carolina history. Among his long list of accomplishments are the 1993 and 1994 Coleman Senior. During the tournament dinner, both Vinny Giles and outgoing tournament chairman Barry van Gerbig spoke with great admiration and affection for Bill Harvey. They had great respect for the man, enjoyed being around him, and enjoyed competing against him. van Gerbig admitted to calling up above and asking for Bill to help Scott’s ball find safe land on his approach to the last hole.

An emotional Scott Harvey gave a wonderful acceptance speech citing his great friendship with his father and explaining that he’d always put immense pressure on himself to win the tournament so his name could be beside his father’s in gold in the iconic Seminole locker room. Harvey said this victory meant more to him than any Masters appearance or USGA championship and he was so proud to follow in his father’s footsteps as a champion. The popularity of the champion and the camaraderie of the tournament were made clear through the cheers, standing ovation, and hugs Harvey received from his fellow competitors.

The Coleman Invitational is played at Seminole Golf Club in Juno Beach, Florida. The Donald Ross designed course opened on New Year’s Day in 1930 built on seaside land acquired by club founder E. F. Hutton. The course plays firm and fast like the links in Ross’ hometown of Dornoch, Scotland.

The Coleman was started by former club president Barry van Gerbig in 1992 and is named in honor of George L. Coleman, van Gerbig’s predecessor as club president. The tournament was originally started to bring the country’s top amateurs to Seminole. In the late eighties van Gerbig noticed that the club had fallen off the radar of many top players. During conversations with Vinny Giles, Jim Holtgrieve, and Downing Gray, he received questions about what Seminole was really like. These national champions and Walker Cup players had heard of the club but had never been there, a departure from earlier years that saw many fine players frequent Seminole because of its wonderful challenge. van Gerbig set out to correct this and The Coleman quickly became recognized as one of the major mid-amateur and senior amateur invitationals in the country.

Seminole has strong ties to the amateur game through a membership that has included seven Walker Cup captains, eight USGA presidents, and numerous accomplished players over the years. One anecdote that perhaps best exemplifies this surrounds Seminole’s well-known event that’s often referred to as its Pro-Member. In fact, the tournament’s name is the Amateur-Professional and when it was suggested to change the name to the more conventional “Pro-Am” in its early years, club president Latham Reed said “at Seminole, the amateur players come first and always will.” At no time will this be more true than when the club hosts the Walker Cup in 2021.

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