Harris English wins St.Jude Classic at Memphis
Closes with a round of 69 for 12-under 268
Phil Mickelson finishes with a flourish for a 67 and tie for second
Joost Luiten wins European Tour event in Austria
Phil Mickelson’s late charge came up just short in the St. Jude Classic in Memphis Sunday as Harris English held on for his maiden PGA Tour triumph.
Starting the day five back, the four-time major winner was still seven-under-par through his first 13 holes on the TPC Southwind course, but picked up three birdies in five holes to put the pressure on the leaders.
Mickelson’s approach to the tough 453-yard 18th came desperately close to being holed for an eagle two, but he made the birdie to go into the clubhouse on 10-under 270.
That left him tied with Scott Stallings, who had bogeyed the final hole, but behind the 23-year-old English kept his nerve.
He found the green on 17th from a difficult position and rolled home a curling birdie putt to go 12-under and with it a two-shot lead playing the final hole.
Two safe shots to the green and two putts for par saw English home in impressive style.
He had come home through the back nine in just 32 shots under immense pressure.
But Mickelson will go to Merion later this week in fine fettle as the 42-year-old bids to win the major which has eluded him, finishing runner-up five times.
He believed that playing the week before the U.S. Open will benefit him as the test was similar.
“I am really like playing here, it’s a good golf course with a premium on hitting fairways and greens.”
English has not qualified for the U.S. Open next week, but his win gives him a coveted place in next year’s Masters at Augusta.
Meanwhile on the European Tour, Dutchman Joost Luiten held off a charge from former Ryder Cup star Thomas Bjorn to win the Lyoness Open near Vienna.
He shot a final round 71, to 68 for Dane Bjorn, to win by two shots on 13-under 271.
Romain Wattel of France and Liang Wen-Chong of China tied for third, a further shot back.