Harcourt's three-under 67 earns medalist honors at Open qualifier at Essex Fells
Danny Harcourt of Shackamaxon birdied three of his final five holes for a 3-under-par 67 to claim medalist honors at Monday’s qualifying round for the 99th NJSGA Open Championship at par-70, 6,476-yard, Essex Fells Country Club in Essex Fells.
Harcourt’s 67 was one shot better than second-place finisher Jack Simon of Lake Mohawk and three shots clear of amateur Mark Bryant of Rolling Green and Brian Varsey, an assistant professional at Essex Fells.
A total of 25 players who shot 74 or better advanced to the Open Championship which takes place July 22-24 at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster.
“I’m playing really well, as good as I’ve ever been playing,” said Harcourt a May graduate of Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania. “I had a great spring season in college. My ball-striking lately has been really solid. I’m much more consistent than in years past.”
Two weeks ago, Harcourt, playing out of Mercer Oaks, reached the semifinals of the Philly Amateur. Last summer, the Fanwood resident and graduate of St. Peter’s Prep in Jersey City, won the 36-hole Trump Invitational in Bedminster.
This spring, the 22-year-old Harcourt was named Division 3 All-American, finishing 15th in the NCAA Division 3 Championship. He won the Centennial Conference Championship as a member of Gettysburg’s team.
His resume includes co-medalist honors at the 2016 NJSGA Open qualifier at Suburban Golf Club along with professional Joe Bush of Harcourt’s home course, Shackamaxon. He made the cut that year at the Open at Galloping Hill Golf Course, finishing tied for 35th place. He also qualified for the 2016 U.S. Amateur, played at Oakland Hills in Michigan.
On Monday at Essex Fells, Harcourt birdied the par-5, No. 1 hole, before incurring a double bogey at the par-4, No. 4, when he hit his tee shot out of bounds. He got back to even par with a birdie on the par-4, No. 8.
A wedge to 12 feet set up a birdie at the par-4, No. 14. He lobbed a sand wedge to five feet for another birdie at the par-4, No. 17, and closed his round with a third birdie on the back nine, on the par-4 No. 18, as his chip from 50 feet ended four feet from the hole. He had par saves from bunkers at the par-3, No. 12, and the par-4, No. 16.
“Last year I played here in a Met Amateur qualifier and shot four under on the front nine. Then we had a weather delay, and I came back the next day and shot five over on the back nine, so today I feel I redeemed myself on the back nine. I really like this course,” said Harcourt, who plans to attend the Korn Ferry Tour (formerly Web.com Tour) Q-School this fall.
Simon, 20, is a rising junior on the St. John’s University golf team. He played varsity baseball at Sparta High School before transferring to IMG Academy on Florida to concentrate on golf. Simon qualified for the 2018 NJSGA Amateur but failed to make the cut.
“I played here a few years ago in the Met Junior and had a practice round last week. I knew I wanted to come here for the qualifier and I’m happy it worked out for me today,” said Simon, who carded four birdies, including a 25-foot birdie putt on the par-3 No. 10, and two bogeys.