DADE CITY, FL — Keeping calm and carrying on comes naturally for Dykes Harbin.
The South Carolina golfer started slowly but recovered and finished three strokes behind North Carolina State’s Albin Choi of Toronto, finishing in second place at the USF Invitational on a sunny Tuesday.
Sporting a white shirt with the recognizable Gamecocks logo, he maintained his composure and ended the tournament 5-under par, tying Daniel Berger of Florida state and Hans Reimers of Mercer.
“The rounds are long in college golf,” said Harbin. “You can hit it bad and play well if you have a short game.”
Harbin warmed up right until his tee time and was the last golfer to leave the designated practice area at the Lake Jovita Golf and Country Club. He constantly spoke to his coaches and gave advice to his teammates.
South Carolina ended the tournament in second place out of 17 teams, narrowly finishing one stroke behind North Carolina State.
“Unfortunately we didn’t win as a team,” said Harbin. “That’s always the goal.”
Choi followed up his win at last month’s Puerto Rico Classic by leading North Carolina State to a first-place team finish. The junior began the day with a two-stroke lead at the top of the individual leaderboard and managed to win his third-straight individual title.
“I felt the front nine was more relaxing and once we got into the back, all the teams kinda started bunching up and so did the players on the individual leaderboard.” said Choi. “It was pretty much a dogfight the entire back nine.”
Harbin was voted captain by his teammates. He will be graduating at the end of the season and finds it hard to see a future that won’t be primarily driven by golf.
“This summer I have to do an internship to finish up school and then I will probably turn pro in 2014,” noted Harbin. “I just want to get my game ready until I graduate.”
He’s devoted his life to learning the game and his early golf memories revolve around being taught by his father in their backyard.
He’s a member of the acclaimed Augusta Country Club and is part of a talented group of collegiate golfers who have learned the game together over the years. Many of his childhood friends have been his competitors all the way to the collegiate level.
Hopefully he’ll be seeing them at future competitions on the PGA Tour.