Scott Harvey realizes Masters dream at Augusta National

Scott Harvey realizes Masters dream at Augusta National

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Scott Harvey realizes Masters dream at Augusta National

Editor’s note: This story originally appeared in the March 30, 2015 issue of Golfweek.

Months after earning his spot in the 2015 Masters, Scott Harvey continued to lose sleep, repeatedly waking up and imagining playing Augusta National Golf Club.

The pristine fairways in those visions are much more smooth and finely manicured than the field where it all started for Harvey.

Harvey, 36, of Greensboro, N.C., grew up goofing around and, mostly, working at Sedgefield Driving Range, which was owned by his father, Bill. As summer days turned into nights, Harvey would head out to the field with a 5-gallon bucket and a stick with a coffee cup attached to the end and, with his brother and dad, pick up every ball on the range. Even when Harvey took over operations at the range after two years of college golf – one at Division II West Florida and the other at nearby High Point – and a short stint on mini- tours, he wouldn’t run a range picker. The plot of land was too rough and bumpy to keep one in operation.

“A lot of my best memories are from that driving range. My dad was never one to brag and tell stories about himself, but his friends – I call them cronies – would sit around, drink beers and talk about when dad did this or that,” Harvey said of his father, a Carolinas Golf Association Hall of Fame inductee who died in 2013 at 82. “It was great for me to hear.”

Harvey, the 2014 U.S. Mid-Amateur champion, since has earned his share of bragging rights, including victories at the Cardinal Amateur and South American Amateur within the past year, the 55th ranking in the World Amateur Golf Ranking and a spot in the U.S. Walker Cup practice session, which was held in December. But all of his accomplishments point toward April 9, when Harvey will step onto the first tee at Augusta National and hear his name called. What then?

“I’d like to make the cut. I’d like to compete, but I don’t know if I’m dreaming or not,” said Harvey, who works in real estate. “The reality is that I’ve never played against those guys before, and I’ve never played on that stage before. I don’t know how I’m going to react to that. If I react well and I can play my game, I know I’m good enough to make the cut.”

Harvey says the largest crowd at one of his events numbered about 300, at the 2012 Porter Cup. He can expect a few more at Augusta National.

“Unless you’ve been there, it’s hard to describe the feel and atmosphere of tournament week,” said Mike McCoy, who played in last year’s Masters as the 2013 U.S. Mid-Amateur champion. “When you’ve played golf your whole life, nothing you’ve done before will ever compare. I told him to soak it all in and enjoy every minute. The week goes awfully fast.”

Harvey won’t be completely green when he drives up Magnolia Lane in April. He has played the course three times as a guest.

“It’s unbelievable, walking that golf course, knowing how much history is there,” he said. “It’s the most perfect piece of property ever. I still can’t believe it’s all happening.”

It’s almost like a dream.

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