Lake Norman & Mooresville

Carolinas Amateur win boosts momentum

When Logan Harrell steps on a golf course, he always wants to be the best.

The last few weeks, Harrell has never felt better after winning the 96th Annual Carolinas Amateur Championship at Pinehurst No. 8 on July 11 and finishing tied for 10th in the North Carolina Amateur in June.

Harrell, 18, has won a lot of tournaments in his Hopewell and junior career, but the Carolinas Amateur tops them all, as he shot 72, 66, 68 and a final round 67 (four-under) to finish 11-under for the tournament, two shots ahead of his closest competitor.

"People remember champions, and that is what I want to be," said Harrell, who beat a field that included amateur golfers ranging in age from 15 to their 50s. "Once you get a taste of winning, you want to do it every week."

Harrell will have the stage to get even better as he reports to South Carolina and head coach Bill McDonald Aug. 17.

As a Gamecock, Harrell will get the opportunity to play against the best collegiate and amateur players from around the world.

Cowans Ford Golf Club professional Adam Robinson, who has known Harrell for three years, has been impressed with how Harrell has been playing recently.

"There's no question Logan is one of the better young golfers in the country," he said. "A lot of players would be satisfied with this kind of success but what makes Logan different is that it only makes him want to work harder, practice more."

Harrell, whose average drive is around 280 yards, is a golf junkie year-round but particularly in the summer, when he practices and plays everyday.

In an average week, Harrell is playing or practicing about 60 hours - and playing about 126 holes each week.

"Playing at a high level is the result of a lot of hard work," said Harrell. "Golf is a game of stepping stones, but you can only take one step at a time. There is no skipping stones in golf."

After a stellar summer in 2009, when he made it to the semifinals of the U.S. Junior Amateur and had 10 top-10 finishes in junior events, Harrell was named N.C. Junior player of the year.

Harrell then followed that up with a strong season for Hopewell, earning co-I-Meck player of the year before earning all-state honors by finishing 3rd at the state meet.

"I won a lot of tournaments early in my junior career," said Harrell. "But then I went on a dry streak. I wasn't playing bad, but I got sick of finishing in top three, the top five, the top 10. I wanted to start winning."

The Carolinas Amateur win gives Harrell a lot of momentum going into what should be a big year playing in the SEC at South Carolina. While Harrell is not looking too far ahead, the soon-to-be college freshman does have a potential professional career in his long-term goals.

"I've proved myself as a junior golfer, and now I'm going to have to go out and prove myself as an amateur and (collegiate) golfer," said Harrell earlier this summer. "When I'm done at South Carolina, then I plan to go out and prove myself as a professional."