By Hector Longo
---- — Every golfer, young or old, pro or amateur, dreams about winning at Augusta.
Andover’s Evan Harmeling just got it done at age 25.
OK, Augusta (ME.) Country Club is a long way from Augusta National in Georgia, home of The Masters, but that little fact wasn’t about to dim Harmeling’s enthusiasm after the Princeton grad won the 95th Charlies Maine Open at Augusta on Tuesday.
“I played very well, maybe the best I’ve ever played,” said Harmeling, whose two-day total of seven-under par 66-67 -- 133 was good for a one-shot win. “Aside from a couple bogeys to start the back nine in the final round Tuesday, it felt really good to put it together.”
With the heat on, Harmeling held his lead with four birdies in the last six holes. He slammed the door by knocking a long eagle putt to a foot away, eventually carding a birdie on 18 to win the $10,000 first prize.
“The way I won it, I was pretty locked in,” said Harmeling. “I didn’t really miss a shot coming in. I hit it close and made some really big putts.”
The victory was Harmeling’s second huge breakthrough of the summer. Back in June, the Canadian Tour rookie took home the Massachusetts Open as well.
That title came in a playoff, after a crucial bogey on the final hole of regulation.
“Obviously, the Mass. Open was sweet, but I bogeyed that last hole and backed into the playoff. This time, I was out there making birdies and really executed to win it.”
Two months into the summer, Harmeling hopes things are barely starting to simmer.
He heads to Calgary this week for a Cantour event in Alberta then flies right back home next week.
“I’ll get a chance to watch (former 4-ball partner and good friend) Colin Brennan at the U.S. Amateur the first day of medal play (either at Charles River or The Country Club in Brookline) then it’s off to the Rhode Island Open for me,” he said. “Maybe, I can make that the trifecta.
“And with Colin knowing Charles River so well and having experience at Brookline, he’ll definitely have a good shot at the U.S. Am. He can get it around with the best of them.”
From there on, it’s back to Canada to close out the season.
“I kind of like the travel, seeing different places, getting to know the guys out there,” said Harmeling. “I love the competition, getting on the cutline, or being in contention, having pressure shots, getting focused and doing what I need to do.”
BUSY SLATE AHEAD Andover's Evan Harmeling has already won the Massachusetts and Maine Opens. The first-year Canadian Tour pro has also made cuts in three of four events up North, tying for 32nd, 51st and 58th. But he's only just begun. This weekend, he'll play in the ATB Financial Classic in Calgary, Alberta. After that, it's back to New England for the Rhode Island Open, August 11-13. Then, it's one more swing to Canada for the final four events: Aug. 19-25 -- The The Great Waterway Classic in Morrisburg, Ontario. Aug. 26-Sept. 1 -- The Wildfire Invitational in Peterborough, Ontario. Sept. 2-8 -- The Cape Breton Celtic Classic in Nova Scotia Sept. 9-15 -- The Tour Championship in London, Ontario