KAPALUA, Hawaii — Harris English was that player who all the time desired the ball for the closing shot. His predicament the previous couple of years changed into getting off the bench and into the video game.

English achieved his turnaround from a seven-year drought with a victory he concept became long past due, making a 6-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole towards Joaquin Niemann to win the Sentry tournament of Champions at Kapalua.

He had the ball. And he changed into take hold of.

He ran off four birdies in a five-gap stretch on the returned nine to trap Niemann. wanting a birdie on the 18th, English hit a three-iron so pure from a downhill lie that it rolled out to 10 feet for an eagle putt he narrowly overlooked, and he settled for a 4-under sixty nine to force added holes.

in the playoff, he lagged an extended putt from off the front of the green to 6 ft for the winner.

“When i used to be a kid, I cherished having the ball when the clock’s operating out in basketball,” English stated. “i really like — i really like — the cases, and i crave getting lower back into that. I hadn’t had it in a very long time. … you’ve gotten received to have confidence in your self.”

Niemann did his half with a 9-below sixty four, matching the low ranking of the match, dazzling considering that the blustery wind finally confirmed up on the Plantation route for the remaining day.

however he ignored a 6-foot birdie putt on the 18th that can charge him. And on the identical gap in the playoff, with a 30-yard expertise off the tee, he tugged his shot just satisfactory that it tumbled down the shaggy slope left of the 18th. A full swing with a lob wedge handiest got it up the hill to the perimeter, and his birdie effort from 15 ft was brief.

“I had an ideal line the 2nd shot, I simply mishit it a bit bit,” Niemann mentioned. “I received a little lucky that it carried the hazard, after which it became now not a straightforward lie.”

Niemann began the closing circular 5 photographs at the back of and would have been satisfied originally of the day to be in a playoff. but he could not aid but believe of the 18th. “I just seem returned and that i see those two par 5s. I made par.”

They comprehensive at 25-under 267. It changed into the second straight year the tournament turned into decided with the aid of a playoff.

English once became among the many rising American starts, winning a Nationwide Tour adventure while nonetheless an novice and choosing up two victories in 2013. but then he got right into a funk, and he fell thus far that he lost his full card in 2019 and changed into No. 369 on the planet. He performed so well from there that he reached the Tour Championship, and it paid off in a huge way.

In a traditional 12 months, English wouldn’t be at Kapalua for the winners-best start to the 12 months. because of the COVID-19 pandemic that shut down the PGA Tour for three months, the field changed into extended to encompass anyone who reached the Tour Championship. Niemann additionally failed to win remaining year.

but the truth he made it to the Tour Championship speaks to his turnaround. He did everything but win remaining season, and then he took care of that in the first match of the 12 months. English now goes to No. 17 on the planet, a profession-most useful.

“or not it’s fantastic to get some validation,” English talked about.

Justin Thomas stayed within the mix at some point after he changed into heard uttering a homophobic slur below his breath after missing a short putt. Thomas apologized, and did so once again after a 66 left him one shot out of the playoff.

He missed an 8-foot birdie possibility on the sixteenth, and then three-putted from long latitude on the seventeenth for bogey. A birdie on the ultimate hole wasn’t ample.

Dustin Johnson, in his first beginning seeing that profitable the Masters on Nov. 15, made an early run except he misplaced a tee shot within the native grass on No. 12 and made double bogey. He shot sixty nine and tied for eleventh, ending his streak of seven consecutive good-10s dating to the primary week in August.

Ryan Palmer, who shared the fifty four-gap lead with English, had an early lead with an eagle on the fifth hole. His hopes came undone when his tee shot on the par-three 11th grew to become left with the wind into the shin-high grass. It took him two to get out and he made double bogey. Palmer rallied with four birdies on his closing five holes but shot seventy one to finish two back.