News & Opinion

Harris English shows he belongs with PGA Tour's champions

Harris English wins 2021 Sentry Tournament of Champions
Harris English beams with his 1st PGA Tour title in more than 7 years after winning the Sentry Tournament of Champions on Sunday at Kapalua Resort in Lahaina, Hawaii.

After gaining a side-door entry into the Sentry Tournament of Champions, English wins 1-hole playoff for 1st title since late 2013

American Harris English wasn’t a recent champion on the PGA Tour when he arrived in Hawaii for the Sentry Tournament of Champions, but he will leave the islands having proved that he belongs in that fraternity of winners again.

English holed a 6-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole at Kapalua Resort’s Plantation Course to edge Chile’s Joaquin Niemann for his third PGA Tour title and first in seven-plus years (scores).

English, 31, had not won since last in 2013, when he won twice on Tour. He earned a spot in the year’s first event, which typically is for winners only, when the PGA Tour expanded the entry list to include qualifiers for the Tour Championship after COVID-19 led to 10 events having been canceled last season.

“It’s incredible,” English told Golf Channel’s Todd Lewis next to the 18th green, where just moments earlier he had missed an 8-foot eagle putt that would have won the tournament. “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 built a great team around me back in Sea Island [Ga.]. They pushed me, helped me get to where I am right now and never lost faith in me.”

English, who missed a potentially winning 10-foot eagle putt on the final hole and tapped in for birdie, shot a final-round 4-under 69 to tie Niemann (64) at 25-under 267. Niemann, playing four groups ahead of English on the final day, missed a 4½-foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole and then waited for English to finish. Dating to a T-3 at the BMC Championship on Aug. 30, Niemann had made the cut in eight consecutive starts entering Kapalua to break into the top 50 in the world ranking.

English had been building a lot of momentum, as well, to end 2020. He posted three top-10 results in his four previous starts in rising to 29th in the world ranking.

“Having two-plus years of job security out here is awesome. You’re kind of on a one-year contract out here, so you win and get some more years.”

English was the fourth player in the 2020-21 season to end winless streaks of seven years or longer on the PGA Tour. Stewart Cink won the Safeway Open to end an 11-year drought, followed by Martin Laird (Shriners Hospitals for Children Open) and Brian Gay (Bermuda Championship) ending 7½-year winless streaks.

Sign up to receive the Morning Read newsletter, along with Where To Golf Next and The Equipment Insider.