Harman: Not Left Behind
By Stephanie Wei under PGA Tour

Two-time Walker Cup member hopes to join his pals on the PGA Tour in 2012

Brian Harman, a member of the 2005 and 2009 Walker Cups and the winner of the 2003 U.S. Junior Championship, had a rollercoaster of a round. Just check out his scorecard (he started on No. 10).

“Pretty interesting, isn’t it?” said Harman, who shot five-under 67 on Friday to get to nine-under through 54 holes.

After knocking one in the drink on 18, he dropped the club out of frustration and nearly lost it in the pond, but managed to retrieve it.

“I got off to a rough start and made that double on 18,” said Harman, who is making his first appearance at Q-school finals. “I wasn’t feeling it, just having a bad day, but I’ve got a great caddie and he calmed me down, and he said, one shot at a time, and we just got rolling on that front nine.  I got some good numbers, started hitting some really good putts, and it added up to about 29.”

Harman, a lefty who played his college golf at the University of Georgia, birdied seven of the his next eight holes and surged up the leaderboard to a tie for seventh through 54 holes.

“I’m trying to chase down the guys that are winning,” said Harman. “I made it my goal this week not to worry about top 25 or top 60 or whatever it is to get a Tour card or a Nationwide Tour card.  I’m trying to win a golf tournament, and I think even no matter where I finish, if I tried to win, wherever I finish, I can sleep at night knowing I gave it my best chance. That’s all you can do.”

The 5’6″-ish 24-year-old was Walker Cup teammates with PGA Tour star Rickie Fowler and college teammates at UGA with 2011 Viking Classic champ Chris Kirk, who finished 45th on the 2011 PGA Tour money list as a rookie, Russell Henley, who captured the Nationwide Tour’s 2011 Stadion Classic as an amateur in May, Harris English, who won the 2011 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Invitational in July and tied for seventh with Harman through three of six rounds at PGA West. Hudson Swafford, another Georgia Bulldog, is also competing for their cards at Q-school finals.

While Henley didn’t make it through second stage, he has full status on the Nationwide Tour in the 2012 season as a winner. Same with English, who has a fallback if he falters in the next three rounds and fails to finish in the top 25 (and ties) to secure a spot on the PGA Tour.

Harman shares a house on St. Simons Island with English, Swafford and Gator Todd, a former University of Alabama golfer.

Since turning pro, Harman has spent time playing mostly on the eGolf Tour and some on the Hooters Tour. He has Monday qualified for several Nationwide Tour events. His best finish in 2011 was at the South Georgia Classic Pres’d by First State Bank and Trust Company and in 2010 he placed T18 at the Stadion Classic, held at his former college course.

“I’ve done well on the eGolf tour, he said. “I think I’ve been in their top 5 or so on the money list the last couple years and I won once last year.  I’ve done okay.”

Naturally, Harman is itching to join his former UGA teammates and other friends in the big leagues.

“A bunch of my buddies are out there on Tour killing it,” he said. “I couldn’t be happier for them, but I sure would like to go with them.”

Asked if he felt like the odd man out, Harman replied, “You know, (my former agent Jason Helman) told me one time, your professional golf career is your own journey.  If you start looking sideways, you’re just going to end up being bitter and end up saying, this guy has got this and this guy did this and I used to beat this guy and now he’s here.  You just can’t do that.

“It’s your own journey, you take it at your own pace, and everything happens for a reason, and I think the quicker you can accept that and just stick to what you do, then the better off you probably are.”