Recent UGA standout Harris English scored his first PGA Tour victory Sunday, taking the FedEx St. Jude Classic at TPC Southwind in Memphis.
English joined Bulldogs’ teammate Russell Henley as PGA Tour winners this season, and his victory was the second in as many weeks for St. Simons Island residents.
Henley won the season-opening event in Hawaii in his first start as a PGA Tour member. St. Simons’ Matt Kuchar, a former Georgia Tech star, scored a victory in the Memorial Tournament one week before English claimed his first PGA Tour title.
English shared the lead after an opening round 66 at TPC Southwind, and led by two after 36 thanks to a 64 the next day. English trailed Shawn Stefani by one after a 69 Saturday, before moving back ahead early in the final round.
Scott Stallings moved in front midway through the fourth round, shooting 4-under on the front nine while English was 2-over with four bogeys. But English reclaimed the lead with four birdies on the incoming nine, including two in a row at 16 at 17.
English shot 69 the final day with six birdies and five bogeys, finishing with a 12-under 268 total, two ahead of Stallings and fast-finishing Phil Mickelson.
The victory was worth $1,026,000 for English, boosting him to 17th on the money list with almost $1.8 million. English also moved up to 13th in the FedExCup points standings.
Thanks to his win, English earned spots in the 2013 PGA Championship and the 2014 Masters, and is in position to qualify for the British Open. His victory is unlikely to get him into this week’s U.S. Open, however, as English was 139 in the World Ran.kings coming into Memphis, and needed to move into the top 60
English, a Valdosta native who grew up in Thomasville, won the Georgia Amateur just prior to enrolling at UGA. He enjoyed an outstanding college career, helping lead the Bulldogs to the finals of the 2011 NCAA Championship.
Shortly after graduating from UGA, English won a Nationwide Tour event in Ohio while still an amateur, and was a member of the 2011 U.S. Walker Cup team. He qualified for the PGA Tour in his first attempt, and enjoyed a solid rookie season in 2012, placing 84th on the money list with three top-10 finishes.
English had three top 10s in 2013 prior to his win in Memphis.