APOLLO, Pa. – Garrett College freshman Zack Harvey earned a berth in the NJCAA Division III national golf tournament, carding an 18-hole total of 157 last Monday and Tuesday to finish fifth at the Region XX championships at the Links at Spring Church.
Harvey shot 80 in the opening round of the tournament, good for sixth place at the halfway mark. His second-day 77 helped move him up to fifth overall. On both days he rebounded from difficult holes to play well.
"I had some really bad holes both days, but I didn't let that ruin either round," said Harvey. "I had a couple of triple-bogies and a couple of double-bogies throughout the two rounds, but I hit my driver pretty well, hit a lot of greens in regulation, and putted pretty well."
"I'm proud of him for remaining mentally strong on both days of the tournament," said Max Hill, Garrett College's head golf coach. "He handled the pressure very well – he worked hard and concentrated on every shot. Golf is a very challenging sport that requires a lot of skill and patience, and I am very happy for his accomplishment."
Harvey's impressive regional performance came on the heels of a seventh-place finish in the Maryland Junior College Athletic Conference championships last month in Hagerstown. That earned Harvey a spot on the all-Maryland JuCo second team.
The Southern Garrett High graduate will participate in the NJCAA Division III national championship tournament June 4-8 at the Chautauqua Golf Club in Jamestown, N.Y.
During the fall season, Harvey was named to the "high honors" academic team in the Western Pennsylvania Collegiate Conference. The fall season is an informal lead-in to Garrett's official spring golf campaign, in which the Lakers play as part of the Maryland Junior College Athletic Conference.
"Zack exemplifies our student athlete profile at Garrett," said Dennis Gibson, GC's athletics director. "He is an outstanding academic student and dedicated to improving his golf game as well."
Harvey said his most impressive strides this year had to do with the mental aspects of golf.
"Golf is more mental than physical," observed Harvey. "If you have a good attitude – like 'I'm going to hit it on the fairway,' rather than, 'Don't hit it in the woods,' – that makes a big difference. In the past I would hit bad shots and let it upset me and let it ruin my round. Now if I hit a bad shot I just try to move on and do the best that I can."
Harvey is no stranger to golf accolades, having twice made the Appalachian Mountain Athletic Conference all-conference golf team while at Southern Garrett. He played on the Southern Garrett golf squad his entire four years in high school, including participating on the Rams' state tournament qualifying team as a senior. The Rams won the AMAC conference title each of his four seasons at Southern Garrett.