Despite playoff loss, English making progress

SAN DIEGO – With one more low round at the Farmers Insurance Open, Harris English could have been the one hoisting the trophy Sunday evening. But for English, tied for the lead with J.B. Holmes entering the final round, it just wasn’t to be.

English opened the week at Torrey Pines with rounds of 68-66, and fought hard Saturday for an even-par 73 that kept him in contention. English, a former University of Georgia star, had hoped Sunday would be different. Turns out, he just needed a birdie on the par-5 18th to cap an even-par 72 and earn a spot in the four-man playoff, the first on the PGA Tour since last March at the Honda Classic.

For English, the final round was more of a roller coaster than an indication of the state of his game.

“I knew it was a battle out there,” English said of a round that included four bogeys and four birdies. “This golf course, this kind of weather, it got breezy out there the front nine. I told myself on the back nine, this is where you got to make a move… Didn’t drive it very straight today, only I think I hit three or four fairways, and it’s hard to play Torrey Pines when you don’t hit it really straight.”

English last won at the OHL Classic at Mayakoba in November 2013, and struggled with his game in 2014. A T-3 at the Sony Open in Hawaii and sub-70 scores during the first two rounds in San Diego signal progress.

A tie for second at the Farmers Insurance Open, which featured one of the best fields yet this season and a Torrey Pines course that looked similar to its 2008 U.S. Open setup, should leave English optimistic about his chances at the Northern Trust Open in two weeks. Riviera Country Club can be just as punishing.

“I felt like I was under the gun a lot the past two days and I felt like my game stood up,” English said. “This is a very hard golf course and being under the microscope out here is really tough. I didn’t drive the ball (the way) I wanted to this weekend and you got to drive it straight out here. You got to hit fairways and I think I hit three or four fairways there and it was tough to stay in the game like that. But I held it together and made some good putts here and there. So I can take a lot of positives from it.”

Show Hide