June 9 2013
Harris English, 23, made two late birdies to capture his first PGA TOUR victory on Sunday.
By Don Wade, Special to PGATOUR.COM
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Harris English successfully avoided the back-nine danger that lurks at TPC Southwind, and poured in two birdies in his final three holes to win the FedEx St. Jude Classic on Sunday for his first career PGA TOUR victory.
English overtook Scott Stallings on the back nine, draining a 17-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole to take the lead for good en route to picking up 500 FedExCup points for the victory. It was the former University of Georgia star’s fourth top 10 this season. He shot a 1-under 69 and finished at 12-under 268, two strokes ahead of Stallings and a late-charging Phil Mickelson.
“Harris played great coming down the stretch,” Stallings said.
Stallings’ double-bogey 6 on No. 15 essentially ended his hopes for the victory.
“I gave myself a lot of opportunities,” Stallings said, taking the positive outlook.
English, 23, recovered nicely from a shaky front nine on Sunday that featured four bogeys and just two birdies.
“I was feeling good about my ball-striking and just had to get those putts to fall,” English said.
Rookie Shawn Stefani started the day at 12 under and with a one-stroke lead over English. But Stefani played his way out of contention with three straight bogeys on Nos. 8-10 and ended with a 76 for a tie for seventh place.
After little to no wind for much of the tournament, the wind picked up on Sunday and restored TPC Southwind to its usual self.
“I was happy for the wind, thought it would keep the scores higher,” said Ryan Palmer, who shot a 3-under 67 to finish fourth at 9 under. “(The wind) was tricky, swirled out there a little bit.”
Defending champ Dustin Johnson shot even par in the fourth round and finished at 5 under, tied for 10th place.
The round of the day belonged to Gary Woodland, who fired a 6-under 64. He tied for 18th and has made the cut in nine straight events.
Mickelson finished with a 67, nearly holing out his approach on the 18th hole. He made birdie to share second with Stallings.