#TBT: Harmon's 135 Still All-Time Low

May 15, 2014

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

It's been tough for golfers to remember sunny days this week, with most of Michigan seemingly under water – or, in the far north, snow. 

But this week's Throwback Thursday recalls a fall weekend 12 years ago, when East Kentwood's Matt Harmon put up the brightest performance during the 36-hole era of MHSAA Boys Golf Finals.

Harmon shot 64-71 over two days at Michigan State University's Forest Akers East, with his 135 total the lowest of that Lower Peninsula Division 1 Final by four strokes and lowest score overall since the MHSAA Lower Peninsula tournament went to 36 holes in 1994. 

East Kentwood also won the team championship that weekend, by 11 strokes. Although the Falcons finished only tied for ninth the following season at The Emerald in St. Johns, Harmon repeated as individual champion with a two-day 146 that included a first-round 68. 

Harmon, who also had finished Division 1 runner-up as a freshman in 1999, went on to win the Mr. Golf Award in 2002, then star at MSU earning Big Ten Player of the Year in 2007.  

Harmon played on the Web.com Tour in 2013, has played NGA Tour events so far in 2014 and is among those listed to play on the PGA Tour Canada this summer. All three are considered stepping stones to the PGA Tour. 

Mid Peninsula's Boys Sweep UPD3 Titles, Including 1st Team Championship

By Jason Juno
Special for MHSAA.com

June 1, 2023

HYDE – The Rock Mid Peninsula boys won their first Upper Peninsula Finals boys golf championship Thursday, earning it in Division 3 at Highland Golf Club near Escanaba.

The Wolverines finished with a score of 324, 13 strokes fewer than runner-up Ontonagon.

“It’s the first time in school history for us, so we’re pretty excited about it,” Mid Pen coach Earlene VanDamme said. “The kids put a lot of work into this year.”

They did it with three golfers among the individual top five, led by medalist Bradly VanDamme, who shot a 77, and tournament runner-up Michael Englund, who carded a 78. Christian VanDamme was close behind with an 81, which was good for a fifth-place tie.

Big Bay de Noc’s Nick Desjarden watches a tee shot at Highland Golf Club. The three golfers have shot consistently around 80 all year. 

“Our top three boys were pretty equivalent. They were within one or two strokes of each other,” Coach VanDamme said. “I kept messing with the order. It didn’t matter where I put them, it always ended up that they were just all always kind of consistent.”

Bradly VanDamme said he has been shooting consistently in the 80s. He shot an 80 here during a practice round. 

“So a 77 today was huge,” he said. “I never expected to play as good as I did today.”

Fixing a key part of his game helped.

“I got off the tee well; usually that’s my struggle,” VanDamme said. “But every tee, I just thought, if I can keep this one in play and keep it in the fairway, then this course is pretty easy if you can keep it in the fairway.”

He said he was happiest about the team title.

“It’s great. All the guys are really excited. That was our goal coming into this – we didn’t care how we all individually placed, we just wanted to win as a team,” he said.

Watersmeet’s Edmond Williams putts during his round.That’s the way team leaders think.

“Bradly is a strong leader for the team,” Coach VanDamme said. “He continuously is just prepping the team, saying, ‘Come on guys, this is about the team score. We all need to do this.’”

His brother Christian VanDamme was just four strokes behind him.

“It helps that (Bradly’s) brother is on the team because he is very competitive with him,” said Coach VanDamme, who also is Bradly and Christian’s mother. “And they put a lot of extra practice in trying to better themselves, so they do practice a lot.”

Ontonagon was team runner-up for the second year in a row.

The Gladiators were led by Abi Pestka, who finished in third place and shot an 80, and Jerry Majurin, who tied Christian VanDamme with an 81.

“That’s the best the boys have done as a group,” Ontonagon coach Jim Jessup said. “Everybody was fairly close in terms of their scores.”

Click for full results.

PHOTOS (Top) Rock Mid Peninsula celebrates its first UP Finals championship in boys golf Thursday. (Middle) Big Bay de Noc’s Nick Desjarden watches a tee shot at Highland Golf Club. (Below) Watersmeet’s Edmond Williams putts during his round. (Photos by Jason Juno.)