On the Green: Harris English prevails through a playoff at the Sentry Tournament of Champions


On Sunday, Harris English walked away from the Plantation Course in Kapalua, Hawaii, with the biggest victory of his PGA Tour career. The Sentry Tournament of Champions winner birdied the 72nd hole to force a playoff with Joaquin Niemann. He then proceeded to drop a clutch six-foot putt to outlast Niemann on just the first hole in the playoff. This is Harris English’s first win since the 2013-14 season where he won the OHL Classic at Mayakoba.

English put four outstanding rounds of golf together to accomplish this achievement. Rounds of 65, 67, 66, and 69 led to a 25 under par tournament score for English. Harris was leading the field for the majority of the week, but as he was strolling up the 18th fairway on Sunday, the leader in the clubhouse was Joaquin Niemann. In order for a playoff to take place, a birdie was a must-have. He stood 270 yards away from the pin on the par-five 18th hole at the Plantation Course; his weapon of choice, the 3-iron. Not only did English give himself a good look at Birdie, but he set himself up with an opportunity for eagle to win the tournament outright. Unfortunately for English, the eagle putt just missed the cup on the low side sending the tournament into extra holes. However, during the playoff, English put his nerves aside and carried out the dreams of young golfers by draining a six-footer for the win. 

English hoists the trophy after coming out on top in Kapalua, Hawaii. (Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports)

The 31-year-old was born and raised in Valdosta, Georgia, a small town just north of the Florida border. English played his collegiate golf at the University of Georgia. After turning pro in 2011, he joined the PGA Tour in 2012. His first win came in 2013 at the FedEx St. Jude Classic where he fired rounds of 66, 64, 69, and 69 for a total of 12 under par and a two-shot victory over Phil Mickelson. 

The Sentry Tournament of Champions was filled with drama this year. Reigning champion Justin Thomas was making a push for the lead when the Golf Channel microphones picked up an explicit comment of his. Thomas was sincerely apologetic after the fact, explaining that it is an inexcusable act of his. He received a large amount of backlash after the round from golf fans around the world. However, Justin Thomas took full responsibility and owned up to his mistake immediately. 

English’s victory last week in Hawaii may be the spark that his career has needed. It has been seven years since his last success on the PGA Tour and hopefully for Harris English, this is the start of the second wave of success.