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Hard work helps Harman garner third-straight all-area honor

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East Union's Kyle Harman is the 2010 Manteca Bulletin All-Area Boys Golfer of the Year.

HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

POSTED July 1, 2010 2:21 a.m.

The mission to remain the best golfer in the Valley Oak League drove East Union’s Kyle Harman to his third consecutive Bulletin All-Area Golfer of the Year honor.

After sharing the honor with teammate John Ott his sophomore year, Harman outdid himself over the next two, closing out both as the VOL champion and doing so in style with an impressive win in the conference tournament.

Harman found himself linked up with Sierra’s Miguel Dominguez and Oakdale’s Austin Whitworth in a three-way fight for the league’s top spot.

Whitworth had accumulated 81 individual points from league matches, while Dominguez was second with 77. Harman was third with 73 points, but clearly poised to close the season as the league’s best.

He answered the call, winning the match at Greenhorn Creek Golf Course in Angels Camp with a 4-over- par 76. He finished eight strokes ahead of

Whitworth and 10 better than Dominguez. The victory catapulted Harman to his second straight league MVP title, and gave him bragging rights over one of the most talented fields in recent VOL history.

“You could feel how competitive it was going into almost all of our VOL matches,” Harman said. “Even amongst our own team, me and (teammate)

Tanner (Bragg) would always joke around about who was going to win. Going to Austin Whitworth’s place in Oakdale and him coming here, those matches, you really wanted to win.

“You can feel the tension with the better players when you played them.”

All of those players had to deal with the fact that Harman was second to none. He finished outside of first or second place only four times in 16 dual matches and always played his best golf at the most crucial of moments.

His 76 in the VOL Championships led East Union’s unfathomable comeback to the league title, as the team turned in a 407 to cruise past a 15-1 Oakdale team for the outright league crown. His stellar play continued in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV Tournament at Timber Creek Golf Course in Roseville, where his 6-over-par earned medalist honors.

The success that Harman garnered throughout the season is the reflection of years’ worth of hard work. All athletes take time to hone their crafts, but becoming the best golfer around takes more work than most athletes could cope with.

“It is a tough, tough sport,” Harman said of golf’s challenges. “I remember starting out and I couldn’t hit the ball straight out of 100 golf balls. It is a long road, and you definitely have to work hard at it. I played basketball. I remember trying to learn how to dribble between my legs, and I got it down within a couple of hours.

“With golf, I’m trying to get one shot down over a couple of months.”

Harman will continue his career at Simpson University in Redding with aspirations to continue to climb higher. Harman has realized his goals of becoming the best golfer at East Union, in the VOL and in the area, now he will begin a journey hopefully ending as the game’s best golfer.

“My dream is to be the No. 1 golfer in the world and on the PGA Tour,” Harman said. “That is where I am aiming. I know there is never perfection, especially in golf, but that is always what I have strived for. I take it overboard sometimes with not being satisfied with how I play, but I am just always looking to get better.

“I really don’t see a limit for me; that’s just how I play the game.”

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