Harris English has ended a long drought after winning the Tournament of Champions, his first PGA Tour title in 7 years. The American finished 25 under, tied with Joaquin Niemann, but was able to shoot four-under 69 while Niemann finished with 64. Coming in at third place was defending champion, Justin Thomas who ended the tournament at 24 under and a closing 66.
English started the day with a shared lead with Ryan Palmer, who finished in fourth place. Both men struggled as their started which gave Niemann the chance to catch up with them, thanks to his series of birdies. English later regained his composure after the tenth hole, making birdies on the 11th, 12th, and 13th hole. He made another birdie at the 15th but suffered his third bogey of the week on the 16th and that saw his lead suffer. Niemann’s undoing was failing to make a birdie at the last hole, settling for par instead, bringing his total score to 64.
Thomas was next and he had enjoyed a good run so far, with a sole bogey at the 17th. He needed an eagle to enter the lead but he failed after his shot missed the hole by a distance. He was finally able to get it in with a birdie and settle for third place. English also needed an eagle to edge past Niemann but could not achieve it, making a birdie instead, which was enough to secure him his first PGA Tour title in 7 years.
The last time English won a title was in November 2013 and Sunday’s win marked his third professional title. In an event filled with some of the best golfers on the planet, including world number one, Dustin Johnson, who finished at 18 under, English’s win is a big deal. Speaking after the event, he described his win as “incredible”, saying, “A lot of hard work over the years. You never think you’re going to get here again. … It’s hard to win out here. I had a really good chance this week and felt good about my game. I just had to get it done.” This might just be the start of a new phase in the life of the 31-year old golfer.
Written by: Leon Osamor