By Tim Bulmer, PorterCup.com contributor
After winning the George L. Coleman Invitational in April – viewed by many as one of mid-amateur golf’s majors – Harvey was overwhelmed with emotion. Winning the Coleman Invitational was a significant moment in his decorated mid-amateur golf career, as he will now have his name on the same trophy that his father, Bill Harvey won back-to-back in 1993-94.
Bill Harvey was the southeastern authority in brining recognition to the Porter Cup tournament in the 1960’s. He captured the Porter Cup in 1963, and was a mainstay of the tournament for many years. Mr. Harvey to this day is considered one of the tournament’s most influential contributors.
Scott Harvey, is currently the No. 1 ranked mid-amateur golfer in the world by amateurgolf.com, and is coming off of competing in his first U.S. Open at Erin Hills. He is a leading contender to capture the 59th edition of the Porter Cup in July, and recently spoke about his recent play and the upcoming Porter Cup tournament.
Q: Talk about your first U.S. Open experience at Erin Hills? What were the positives of Thursday and Friday?
A: For me, one thing was that I recognize is the need to not get caught up in a game I don’t normally play. I have to continue to play within myself. Second round (Friday) I played ultra-conservative. I was timid, I need to play my game, that’s the reason I got there. Definitely a week that’s in my top-three in my life. You don’t know if it’s ever going to happen (attempted to qualify somewhere between 10-12 times prior to 2017). The hospitality was unbelievable, and my grouping with Jamie Lovemark and Michael Putnam was very comfortable. All three of us had healthy conversations throughout both days.
Q: How was the practice round with Steve Stricker, Jordan Spieth and Jim Furyk?
A: Very respectful, everyone asked what I did as my profession. We discussed real estate, as a couple of the guys are currently in the market for additional property. Just a normal conversation that four guys would have during a round. Steve [Stricker] was like Tiger Woods up there.
Q: With you qualifying at a sectional (New Jersey) didn’t leave you with a lot of time to make arrangements, did that settle down by the time you teed off?
A: When I qualified, I honestly did not know it [U.S. Open] was the next week. With my job, I was supposed to visit a potential property, and go visit my in-laws in Dallas. But with everything being last minute, I was shocked at how many friends and family made the trip up to Wisconsin. The USGA did such a wonderful job with hospitality – not just for me, but taking care of the people around me. The atmosphere was incredible.
Q: You are in a battle with Stuart Hagestad to make the U.S. Walker Cup team. What would playing at Los Angeles Country Club – the host site of the 2017 Walker Cup – mean to you? A course that you’ve won at.
A: Well, the decision still has not been made by the USGA regarding number of mid-am’s in the tournament, but it’d be great. Having the Walker Cup there will enhance the experience. It’s a really long, big golf course; it fits my eye, really well. The greens are firm and fast, so that could provide an advantage.
Q: This will be your ninth appearance at the Porter Cup. You finished third at last year’s tournament. After the experience at the U.S. Open, how do you feel coming into this year’s event?
A; Last year’s tournament became a two-man race, I won the secondary tournament. I would be great. If I can get into the mix on Wednesday and Thursday and continue to play well, it would definitely be quite special to hoist the cup with my father’s name on it.
Q: Do you still think about the eagle on 17 in 2015 when preparing to come up to NFCC? What do you like and dislike about playing Niagara Falls Country Club?
A: Absolutely. I struggle with the 17th, it doesn’t fit my eye. I could hit a perfect tee ball, but no matter what iron I take for my second shot, I always make a 5. What I like about the course, is that anybody can play it – bombers, plotters, etc. That’s what I believe a great course should be.
Q: Having secured The Coleman earlier this year, what would a Porter Cup win mean to you in the same year?
A: Anytime I can do something my Dad has done, to finally pull it off would be amazing. Each time I play the tournament, it is really special. It’s hard to put into words. Every year throughout my whole childhood, I’d spend time with my Dad at the course – It [Porter Cup] has been a part of my life forever. No doubt it would be a special thing.
Q: You’ve achieved significant success at the mid-am level. What advice would you give aspiring mid-amateur golfers as keys to success?
A: It’s more of a mindset thing. Now for something major, fix it and move on [swing change]. Don’t be intimidated, the golf ball doesn’t know what age you are. Sure you will have to play against good players, but they have to play well too to win. Just be confident, you can definitely play to win.