Harper was born, raised and lived his entire life in Portsmouth, Virginia. He was prominent in Virginia golf, winning the Virginia State Amateur three times (1930, 1932, 1934) and the Virginia State Open nine times (1932, 1938, 1940, 1941, 1952, 1960, 1967, 1968, 1970), a record which stands today. His golfing career was interrupted by service in the U.S. Navy during World War II.
Harper's competitive career lasted from 1938 to 1955; and like most professional golfers of his generation, he spent most of his time as a club professional. Harper compensated for his lack of driving distance with a strong short game; Ben Hogan said that Harper was the best putter on Tour.
Note: Harper never played in The Open Championship.
NT = No tournament
DNP = Did not play
WD = Withdrew
DQ = Disqualified
CUT = missed the half-way cut
R128, R64, R32, R16, QF, SF = Round in which player lost in PGA Championship match play
"T" indicates a tie for a place
Green background for wins. Yellow background for top-10.