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English back to winning and wants to see how far he can go

KAPALUA, Hawaii (AP) – Harris English as soon as was thought-about part of the way forward for American golf.

He gained a Nationwide Tour occasion whereas he was nonetheless at Georgia. He had two PGA Tour titles when he was 24. His demeanor was ultimate for golf, by no means too bothered my a lot and regular together with his feelings.

That now looks as if a very long time, and it was. English had gone 192 begins on the PGA Tour over seven years since he final gained, a drought that ended with a sequence of clutch photographs that carried him to a playoff victory Sunday within the Sentry Tournament of Champions.

“It’s awesome to get some validation,” English mentioned.

In some respects, it represents a restart to a profession that might take him locations he hasn’t been. The victory took him to a career-best No. 17 on the planet, and he doesn’t need to cease there.

“I’m still not satisfied with where I’m at in the game. There’s still a lot more that I want to accomplish,” English mentioned. “Hopefully, this is just the tip of the iceberg of me getting better and better, and hopefully having a chance to win a lot more tournaments.”

This was not a victory out of nowhere at Kapalua.

English started his turnaround after his lowest level in a two-year hunch that price him full standing on the PGA Tour. His coach, Justin Parsons, instructed him he was on the correct path and English proved it. Knowing he would have restricted occasions, he did nicely sufficient within the fall of 2019 to construct some momentum.

During the three months the PGA Tour was shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he labored simply as laborious and performed cash video games at Sea Island to hold sharp.

“I felt like you could use the quarantine period where we didn’t play golf, you could either hang out and relax or you could use that time to get better,” he mentioned. “I really like making an attempt to get higher as a result of I do know there’s guys out right here that work simply as laborious or more durable than I do at this sport. And these are the fellows that I would like to compete with, these are the fellows that I would like to beat out right here on tour.

The confidence started to return. He saved moving into rivalry. And when the chance confirmed itself on Kapalua, he delivered.

English hit 8-iron into a robust wind to 2 ft for birdie on the thirteenth, a part of a stretch wherein he made 4 birdies in 5 holes to catch up to Joaquin Niemann. Trailing by one shot on the par-5 18th, he drilled a 3-iron from 268 yards off a downhill lie to 10 ft. He missed the eagle putt for the win, and then made birdie on the 18th in a playoff to win.

“It took a little while to kind of get rid of that scar tissue a little bit,” English mentioned. “But I feel like I’ve been there for a while and I’ve been really close. Sunday is a day I look forward to, and I had a good feeling about today.”

English piled up 10 finishes within the prime 10 after shedding his full card, together with fourth place within the U.S. Open. Now he is at No. 2 within the FedEx Cup because the 12 months is beginning.

English was enjoying at Bay Hill in 2014, contemporary off his two-win 12 months, when Graeme McDowell watched him from behind the seventeenth inexperienced. “This is a good one here,” McDowell mentioned. “We’re going to be seeing him in the Ryder Cup.”

English didn’t fairly end the 12 months strongly and ended sixteenth within the standing. No reward is bigger than from friends, particularly in a Ryder Cup 12 months. Now, he has an opportunity to give it some thought once more.

“My goal really this year is to play on the Ryder Cup team,” he mentioned. “Obviously, winning was a objective, however I didn’t need to drive it. I do know how laborious it’s to win out right here on the PGA Tour and I knew that if I saved giving myself alternatives to pull it off that I might do it.

“I love being in that situation coming down the last nine holes and knowing what you have to do,” English mentioned. “And it was a lot of fun today. The shot I hit into 18 was awesome. I can really feed off that for years to come, and being able to do stuff like that when you’re under the gun is so much fun to do.”

The key to his turnaround was to cease trying to find good, and making an attempt to be a participant he wasn’t. Instead of getting caught up within the talent set of Dustin Johnson or Rory McIlroy, he realized what he had was ok.

The subsequent cease is a brief flight to Oahu for the Sony Open, the place English can be a part of Ernie Els (2003) and Justin Thomas (2017) as the one gamers to sweep the Hawaii Swing.

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