BY LARRY SULLIVAN
The seasons have changed but not the success.
Mooresville’s Steve Harwell teed right off in the summer where he left the fairway in the spring to collect yet another top-tier individual amateur-level golf championship crown.
Harwell overcame a mild stroke deficit early in the proceeding to support his by-invitation-only appearance emerging as the outright solo champion of the National Senior Hall of Fame golf tournament held just as the calendar changed from one season to the next.
Harwell was among the limited number of participants invited to help form the field for play in the three stroke-play rounds to constitute the playing of the NSHOF affair. This year’s attraction was conducted at the High Point Country Club.
Harwell continued in the midst of what is amounting to a breakout year in just his second full schedule of competing in high-caliber senior golf after turning the required 55 years of age in late 2017.
Harwell carded his only over-par round over the final 18 holes to merely keep matters interesting before fashioning a final two-stroke cushion over the next-best finisher in the NSHOF event conducted over the course of three days and 54 holes.
Harwell posted a winning three-round total of 213 strokes that made him one of just two players in the field to better par.
Harwell was a single stroke off the lead following a first-round score of three-under-par 69. He then followed up that round with a two-under 70 that placed him in the lead. He closed with the 74 that sill was solid enough to secure him the coveted crown.
Among the players the champion left in wake was a pair of participants each boasting of multiple NSHOF titles during their careers. The eventual runner-up is a previous four-time tournament champion, while the entry placing in a tie for eighth-place owns a pair of such titles and was also the golfer selected to be inducted into the National Senior Hall of Fame this year.
The outcome served to keep in place a steady string of single-year success. Earlier this year, Harwell was part of the two-player team that placed first in the Carolinas Golf Association’s Senior Four-Ball Championship.
On his own, Harwell finished first in the prestigious Coleman Invitational held at the Seminole Country Club in Florida.
He broke through on his own to also fashion a first-place finish in the CGA’s North Carolina Senior Amateur Championship to win his first major title.
The most recent accomplishment continues to prime Harwell for anticipated participation in the United States Senior Amateur Golf Championship that will take place on North Carolina’s Old Chatham Golf Course in Durham later this summer.