Harris English rebounded from a tough start with a back-nine 30 at TPC San Antonio. (Cohen/Getty Images)
By Tim Price, PGATOUR.COM Correspondent
SAN ANTONIO -- It’s not quite the rags-to-riches story that John Huh crafted here last year when he rallied from a first nine of 44 with an inward 33 in the opening round of the Valero Texas Open, but Harris English’s 30 on Thursday is a course-record back nine at AT&T Oaks Course at TPC San Antonio.
English rebounded after an opening nine of 38, giving him a 68 that puts him in a tie for second, one shot back of co-leaders Matt Bettencourt and Peter Tomasulo heading into the second round of what is becoming a lively VTO.
“It was playing pretty tough on the front nine,” English said. “(But) I was hitting it well and putting it well.”
English, who became the third amateur to win an event on the Web.com Tour when he took the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Invitational two years ago, knew “stuff’s going to start happening” after the front.
“I made a good 12-to-15 footer on No. 10, and it just started going in every time,” he said.
By the time he made it to 17, English was 4-under on the back. A few players have been tickling the front edge of the green on the 334-yard, downwind hole. So English, 31st in driving distance this year, launched one down there.
“I hit a really good one,” English said, understating.
He smashed it 344 yards, driving it about 26 feet past the cup. He made the putt coming back for eagle to go 6-under.
English, 23, can rock and roll at times. He shot a third-round 62 to get into the top-10 when former Georgia teammate Russell Henley won at the Sony Hawaii in Open. But his best finish this year is a tie for seventh at the Tampa Bay Championship presented by EverBank on another tough course at Innisbrook.
“Even though I got off to a bad start, I knew that I was playing well and I knew if I had some stuff go well I could turn it into a good round, and that’s what happened,” he said.