SPOILS OF VICTORY: Former Princeton University men’s golf standout Evan Harmeling displays the trophy he earned for winning the Savannah Golf Championship on the Korn Ferry Tour last October. Harmeling ’12 is currently ranked 41st on the Korn Ferry money list with earnings of $146,374 as he looks to crack the top 25 and earn a spot on the PGA Tour next year. (Photo provided courtesy of Princeton’s Office of Athletic Communications)
By Bill Alden
While many of his Princeton University classmates went into business, law, or medicine, Evan Harmeling was driven to pursue a different career path.
After an up-and-down career with the Princeton University men’s golf program, Harmeling ’12 decided to take a shot at the pro game.
“The interesting thing about golf is that it is all about what you shoot,” said Harmeling.
“There is no draft, there is no you have a lot of potential so we are going to take a shot on you and give you a chance. Everyone, except for the very few guys at the top of the college game who are getting some match sponsor exemptions, is starting from scratch. From that standpoint, college careers are not as important in terms of establishing your professional career.”
Over the last eight years, Harmeling, now 32, has scratched and clawed his way up to the Korn Ferry Tour, the development circuit that is one step below the PGA Tour.
Having won the Savannah Golf Championship last October, Harmeling is looking to work his way into the top 25 of the Korn Ferry money list and thereby earn PGA Tour status for next season. He currently ranks 41st on the Korn Ferry money list with earnings of $146,374.
Harmeling’s journey to the pro ranks began nearly 30 years ago, getting into the game at age 2 when his dad cut down some clubs for him.
As a grade schooler, Harmeling made his debut into competitive golf and enjoyed it right away.
“I played my first tournament when I was 10 or 11,” recalled Harmeling.
“It was on a par 3 course, Firefly, in Rhode Island. I remember that day, that first tournament, it is exciting. It is a different animal when you get a scorecard and you have got to post a score next to your name.”
Going to Phillips Academy for high school, Harmeling, a native of North Reading, Mass., started taking the game more seriously. He was named the Massachusetts Golf Association Junior Golfer of the Year in 2005 and was part of a twosome that won the Massachusetts Four-Ball Championship in 2007. After graduating from Phillips, where he also played squash, Harmeling qualified for the 2007 U.S. Amateur Championship. more