Colorado Proud: Harrington’s U.S. Mid-Am Memories

Decorated Amateur Defies Odds, Overcomes Adversity

Kudos, attaboys and backslaps to Colorado Springs golfer Michael Harrington, who last week reached the quarterfinals of the U.S. Mid-Amateur, played at the Saucon Valley Country Club in Bethlehem, Pa.

Harrington, 42, who earlier this year won the Colorado Mid Am Match Play and is the 2009 Colorado Mid-Am Stroke Play champion, was defeated 5 and 3 by Tom Werkmeister of Kentwood, Mich., who was eliminated in the following round in a playoff.

“This was the best achievement of my life,” said Harrington, who qualified for the competition by placing 29th among more than 300 entries. “This was my third appearance at the Mid-Am and my best tournament by far, especially considering it was a national event.”

Harrington won his first match 5 and 4, followed by a 4-and-3 victory in Round Two and a nail-biting sudden-death victory on the first playoff hole in Round Three that was determined only after he tied the match with a birdie on the 18th hole.

“Then, in sudden death, I played one of the most memorable shots of my golfing career,” he recalled. “After hitting a good drive on a par-five, I hit a hybrid about 265 yards to about five feet from the pin. My opponent two-putted for par, which allowed me to two-putt for birdie.”

This, after earlier calling a penalty on himself at the match’s second regulation hole after inadvertently brushing sand from the fringe in clear violation of the Rules of Golf (Rule 13-2). It resulted in loss of hole.

“No one saw me brush the sand, but calling that penalty on myself was the honorable thing to do,” said Harrington. “It really was the only choice to make, and it was, perhaps, my proudest moment of the tournament.”

Harrington’s dramatic Round of 16 victory went for naught, however, when he went up against Werkmeister, a Michigan Golf Hall of Fame inductee who last year became the first amateur in 38 years to win the Michigan Open. “[Werkmeister] didn’t make any mistakes,” said Harrington, “and I didn’t play as well as my first three rounds. I was overcutting my drives and I was really tested by the longest rough that I had ever played.

“I did lose that day, but the reality is—and I have told people this—I was the happiest loser. I just felt so good about how I played throughout the tournament,” he said.

Harrington’s major tournament highlights include placing eighth at the 2013 Lupton Invitational Mid Am and 22nd at the 2013 Pacific Coast Amateur Championship.

Statewide, his résumé includes winning the Loveland Invitational (2007, ’10), Fort Morgan Invitational (2006, ’10), Colorado Springs City Championship (2006, ’07, ’09), Southern Open (2009) and medalist honors at the 1994 Atlantic Ten NCAA Championship.

Harrington is a 19-year Colorado resident and is a former standout golfer for the University of Rhode Island. He is a member of Kissing Camels Golf Course—he plays to a plus-2 handicap—and he works for Morgan Stanley as a financial advisor.


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Chris Duthie is a contributor to Colorado AvidGolfer, the state’s leading resource for golf and the lifestyle that surrounds it. It publishes eight issues annually and proudly delivers daily content via