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.