Thomasville Times Enterprise

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December 31, 2013

Fine choice

MOULTRIE — Clarke Hendrick is certainly not surprised by the success his former Colquitt County middle school golf teammate Harris English has had.

“He was just an athlete in every sport,” Hendrick said at a clinic English put on at Sunset Country Club on Christmas Eve. “We played YMCA basketball together and he was the guy you wanted to have the ball in his hands.

“He would have been the pitcher on the baseball team or the quarterback on the football team. He just happened to choose golf.”

A fine choice it was.

English, a former Thomasville resident who played some of his first rounds of golf at Sunset Country Club, played for the undefeated Colquitt County middle school golf teams before moving to Chattanooga to attend Baylor School prior to his freshman year in high school.

After leading Baylor to four state championships and winning one individual title himself, English moved on to the University of Georgia where he was a four-time All-American and won four tournaments.

After graduating from Georgia in 2011 with a business degree, he played on the Walker Cup team in Scotland and turned professional that September.

He won one Nationwide Tour event in 2011 and earned his PGA card after finishing in a tie for 13th in the PGA Tour qualifying tournament.

English made the cut in 22 of 27 tournaments in 2012 and had three top-10 finishes, earning $1.18 million.

He got his first PGA Tour victory in June 2013, taking the FedEx St. Jude Classic in Memphis.

And on Nov. 17, he won the OHL Classic at El Camaleon Golf Club at the Mayakoba Resort in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, shooting a final round 65. English earned $1,080,000 for the victory.

And on Dec. 15, he and Matt Kuchar ran away with the Franklin Templeton Shootout, firing a 14-under 58 on the final day to  to break the tournament course record.

The two beat Retief Goosen and Fredrik Jacobsen by seven strokes, matching the tournament record for margin of victory.

English and Kuchar each earned $385,000.

With a win and two top-10 finishes so far this season, English is second in the FedEx Cup rankings and is 53rd in the Official World Golf Rankings. His scoring average is 68.31.

He already has two wins, nine top-10 finishes and $4.7 million in earnings in his young career.

Now 24, the 6-foot-3, 185-pound English makes his home is Sea Island.

But he found time to return to Sunset to talk to and answer questions from country club members and play a few holes with junior golfers serving as his caddy.

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