TRUCKEE, Calif. – Dave Harmon won’t get a gold medal like the one his player, Scottie Scheffler, earned for winning the 2013 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship on Saturday at Martis Camp Club.
But the 73-year-old from Cool, Calif., certainly deserves recognition for his effort this week. Harmon had such a good time caddieing at last year’s U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship at Lake Merced Golf Club in Daly City, Calif., that when he saw that the Junior Amateur was going to be in Northern California, he submitted his name online to be a caddie.
Once he was chosen, Harmon and his wife made plans to drive their recreational vehicle to Truckee, where they camped out for the week.
To prepare for the championship, Harmon went to caddie school to refresh his memory of the Rules of Golf and to gain knowledge of Martis Camp, a five-year-old Tom Fazio design. The prospective caddies walked the course twice prior to the competition and rolled balls on the greens to gain familiarity with the subtleties.
What Harmon didn’t prepare for was walking 13 rounds, including the practice sessions. When he worked for Jane Hopkinton-Wood last July at Lake Merced, she failed to make the match-play cut, which cut his outing short.
This week, he drew one of the country’s best juniors in Scheffler, who not only finished third in stroke-play qualifying, but won the championship with a 3-and-2 victory over Davis Riley in the 36-hole final.
“Luck of the draw,” said Harmon of landing Scheffler.
Because Harmon’s pace was a bit slower, Scheffler often found himself waiting at his ball. In a way, it kept him from getting too far ahead of himself.
“I’d get to the ball, get my yardage and prepare for the shot, and then he would show up and I would grab a club,” said Scheffler. “Probably the best caddie I ever had.”
David Shefter is a senior staff writer with the USGA. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.