English vacation: Former Baylor golfer can relax after winning St. Jude Classic

English vacation: Former Baylor golfer can relax after winning St. Jude Classic

June 11th, 2013 by David Uchiyama in Sports - Golf

Harris English gives a fist pump as he sinks his final putt on the 18th green for the win during the final round of the St. Jude Classic golf tournament in Memphis.

Photo by Associated Press/Times Free Press.

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

Date of Birth: July 23, 1989

Youth residence: Thomasville, Ga.

Current residence: Sea Island, Ga.

As an amateur at Baylor School

2004 - Helped Baylor win the Division II state championship

2005 - Won medalist in state championship and a team championship

2006 - Helped Baylor win the team state championship

2007 - Helped Baylor win a fourth straight state title

2007 - As a 17-year-old, he won the Georgia Amateur championship

As an amateur at Georgia

2008 - Won two events and named to the national All-Freshman team

2009 - Made first-team All-SEC and third-team All-American

2010 - Named first-team All-American, a semifinalist for the Hogan Award, reached U.S. Amateur Round of 16

2011 - Named first-team All-American, finalist for the Nelson Award, Hogan Award watch list

After college

2011 - Won the Nationwide Children's Hospital Invitational on the Nationwide Tour as an amateur

2011 - Represented the United States on the Walker Cup team and went 2-2 in matches

2011 - Turned professional Oct. 6 at the Chattanooga Classic on the Nationwide Tour

2011 - Finished runner-up in the WNB Golf Classic, his second professional event

2011 - Earned PGA Tour card by tying for 13th in final stage of Q-School.

2012 - Played 27 PGA Tour events, placed in the top 10 three times, won $1.1 million

2013 - Won his first PGA Tour event on Sunday in his 17th event of the year, making 13 cuts

Harris English became so tied up after winning the St. Jude Classic on Sunday evening that he couldn't call his parents.

They finally made a connection late Monday morning after the former Baylor School golfer won a PGA Tour event for the first time in his short two-year career.

"The thing he said was, 'I guess we're going to the Masters, Dad,'" Ben English said. "I'll be there, and that's for sure.

"It's been his dream."

Harris English has been to the Masters. But he's never played in it. He will get to drive down Magnolia Lane next April and live out that dream.

"The main thing that I am looking forward to is playing in the Masters next year," the 23-year-old said in his post-round news conference Sunday. "Growing up in Georgia, that was the main tournament that I always watched and went to when I was a kid. The invitation to the Masters is going to be very special and special for my family, because they've put a lot of hard work and a lot of time to get me where I am.

"I've had a lot of good people around me in south Georgia and Chattanooga and Athens, and now Sea Island."

In addition to a trip to Augusta, English earned a two-year exemption in all PGA Tour events and a spot in the PGA Championship, and he shot up to No. 13 in the FedEx Cup standings.

"As big of a deal as this is to him, it will be an experience then focus on moving ahead," Ben English said. "I told him to enjoy it for a few days and then move on."

Missing from the list of exemptions is an automatic bid into the U.S. Open, which begins Thursday at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Penn. The victory propelled English to No. 84 in the Official World Golf Rankings. The cut line is the top 60.

So English has the week off after beating Phil Mickelson and former Tennessee Tech golfer Scott Stallings by two strokes with a 12-under-par 268 at Memphis.

He said he'd return to his current residence in Sea Island, and his father said they may spend time at his childhood home in Thomasville, Ga.

"I told him to enjoy it, take a couple days off to clear his head and go sit in a deer stand if he needed to," Ben English said. "He's probably going to go home, or we'll piddle around here."

Then English, who was the 2005 TSSAA Division II-AA state medalist, will continue his career as a PGA Tour event winner.

"He's got the demeanor of a Zen master, and he had that when he showed up as a freshman at Baylor," Red Raiders coach emeritus King Oehmig said. "He had the same swing then. He had the same crouch over his putts with one hand on his knee. It's exactly what he was doing in high school."

He did it better than anybody -- even Phil Mickelson -- this past weekend at TPC Southwind.

"This is going to open the door for him to do better things," Ben English said. "I told him, 'I want you to understand something: Now you have every reason to believe you're a great player, because everybody has to get that first win."

Contact David Uchiyama at duchiyama@timesfreepress.com at duchiyama@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6484. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/UchiyamaCTFP.