American Harris English has birdied the first playoff hole on the 18th to defeat Chilean Joaquin Niemann to win the Sentry Tournament of Champions at the stunning Plantation Course in Kapalua Hawaii in the first tournament of the PGA Tour for 2021.
The win for English comes in his 193rd start since his last PGA Tour win one of three titles he has won in his 250 events.
English missed a 10-foot eagle putt in regulation on the par-5 18th hole at Kapalua for a 4-under 69 to force a playoff with Joaquin Niemann, and he ended it on the 18th with a 6-foot birdie.
Niemann, who closed with a 64, pulled his approach enough to tumble down the steep, shaggy hill. His full swing from thick grass got him to the fringe, but he missed the birdie putt.
English capped off his remarkable turnaround at a tournament he ordinarily wouldn’t be allowed to play.
The Tournament of Champions is for winners only from the previous year, but the field was expanded to include anyone who reached the Tour Championship because of the COVID-19 pandemic that shut down the PGA Tour for three months.
Justin Thomas finished third in his bid to become the first repeat winner of the event since Geoff Ogilvy in 2010 while Ryan Palmer, who shared the 54-hole lead with Harris English, finished fourth.
English said it felt amazing to win again after so many years.
“All the hard work that has gone into this, all the highs and lows of golf that it brings over a career and I feel like I’ve gotten out of my valley and getting back to the tournaments and some of the quality of golf that I know I can play,” English said.
“And it feels great to have some validation out there on the golf course.”
Kiwi Danny Lee didn’t qualify for this event but he is scheduled to play in the Sony Open across in Honolulu this coming weekend. Tim Wilkinson is also listed for that event as an alternate.