Former Georgia Bulldog Harris English won the Travelers Championship Sunday in dramatic fashion. His 2nd Tour victory of the season, and third of his career, took 8 extra holes to secure thanks to steady play by fellow combatant Kramer Hickock.
English entered the final round Sunday at 8 under par and in a tie for 6th place. The tournament looked to be in good hands in the form of former Bulldogs Russell Henley and Bubba Watson. Those two were well positioned to capture the tournament title with continuation of their recent play. Unfortunately, both succumbed to the pressure, and or law of averages, as late double-bogeys doomed their chances.
English, a native of Valdosta and a 2011 graduate of UGA, has experienced plenty of golf at the upper tiers of pressure and prestige. He was part of the various golf teams in Athens that competed for national championships, He won on (what is now) the Korn Ferry Tour before capturing titles in 2013 in Memphis and Mayakoba. Enduring a swing change and a rededication to his craft. English has been one on the most consistent players in the world the last 2 years.
He’s made the cut in 17 of the last 21 tournaments, and that includes a 3rd place finish at last week’s US Open, and a win in Hawaii near the beginning of the season. Then he came to Connecticut. After starting with rounds of 67-68-67, he was 4 back starting the final round but only had a handful of golfers in front of him. A final round 66 put him at 13 under par and the clubhouse lead. A dramatic birdie on 18 put newcomer Kramer Hickok into a sudden death playoff with English.
To be honest, the playoff was somewhat boring, especially if you look at the scorecard. They traded pars for 7 freakin’ holes, though many included clutch 6 foot par saves.
Yet a more-than-clutch and thank-you-lord 5 footer on the 8th playoff hole to lock down the win and more than $1.3 million in cash. English also moves up to 2nd on the FedEx playoff points list, virtually guaranteeing an appearance in the season-ending Tour Championship and getting invites to next year’s major championships.
Another Bulldog winning a PGA Tour event? Commonplace. Winning in Connecticut? The fourth time in 11 years. A leaderboard littered with former Bulldogs? Get used to it. And as always...