Evan Harmeling '12 won the Massachusetts Open June 11-13, shooting 5-under-par in the 54-hole tournament and 2-under-par in the three-hole playoff. (Photo: David Colt/Courtesy Massachusetts Golf Association)
On April 15, Evan Harmeling ’12, a pro golfer on the PGA’s Canadian tour, was in his home state of Massachusetts, playing a practice round at Granite Links Golf Club, which overlooks the Boston skyline. While on the course, another group of players broke the news about the tragic bombings near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Soon after, they could hear sirens in the distance.
Like many in the Boston area, Harmeling wanted to do his part to help those affected by the bombings. Last week, during the Massachusetts Open, he found his opportunity.
Inspired by the generosity of PGA Tour player and Brookline, Mass. native James Driscoll, who pledged to donate $1,000 for each birdie he made in tournament play, Harmeling decided to contribute all of his Open earnings to One Fund Boston — a significant sacrifice for someone who plays for modest prize money in golf’s version of the minor leagues. “I definitely had to put a little thought into it,” Harmeling told PAW, “but it seemed like the right thing to do.”
The following day, Harmeling maximized his pledge by winning the tournament, edging close friend Chris Fitzpatrick in a three-hole playoff. Harmeling’s first professional win earned a $15,000 check and a boost of confidence that he hopes will carry over at this week’s ATB Financial Classic in Calgary, Alberta.
Harmeling, a former Tiger captain who turned pro a few days before Commencement last year, has enjoyed a string of positive results in the last two months. He competed in a sectional qualifier for the U.S. Open, won his qualifier for the Massachusetts Open, and tied for 32nd in his first Canadian tour start. Harmeling credited Princeton coach Will Green with helping him get through a difficult stretch that included two missed cuts in the early spring: “He kept reminding me that I love to play golf, which is hard to think about when you’re shooting 80.”
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