MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Harris English successfully avoided the back-nine danger that lurks at TPC Southwind, and poured in two birdies in his final three holes to win the FedEx St. Jude Classic on Sunday for his first career PGA Tour victory.
English overtook Scott Stallings on the back nine, draining a 17-foot birdie putt on the 17th to take the lead for good en route to picking up 500 FedExCup points for the victory. It was the former University of Georgia star’s fourth top 10 this season.
He shot a 1-under 69 and finished at 12-under 268, two strokes ahead of Stallings and a late-charging Phil Mickelson.
“Harris played great coming down the stretch,” Stallings said.
Stallings’ double-bogey 6 on No. 15 essentially ended his hopes for the victory.
“I gave myself a lot of opportunities,” Stallings said, taking the positive outlook.
English, 23, recovered nicely from a shaky front nine on Sunday that featured four bogeys and just two birdies.
“I was feeling good about my ball-striking and just had to get those putts to fall,” English said.
Rookie Shawn Stefani started the day at 12 under and with a one-stroke lead over English. But Stefani played his way out of contention with three straight bogeys on Nos. 8-10 and ended with a 76 for a tie for seventh place.
After little to no wind for much of the tournament, the wind picked up on Sunday and restored TPC Southwind to its usual self.
“I was happy for the wind, thought it would keep the scores higher,” said Ryan Palmer, who shot a 3-under 67 to finish at 9 under in a tie for fourth. “(The wind) was tricky, swirled out there a little bit.”
Defending champ Dustin Johnson shot even par in the fourth round and finished at 5 under, tied for 10th place.
The round of the day belonged to Gary Woodland, who fired a 6-under 64. He tied for 18th and has made the cut in nine straight events.
Final-Round Leaderboard: Harris English, 66-64-69-69—268 (-12); Scott Stallings, 67-68-67-68—270 (-10); Phil Mickelson, 71-67-65-67—270 (-10); Ryan Palmer, 72-67-65-67—271 (-9).
–Entered the final round of the FedEx St. Jude Classic trailing Shawn Stefani by one stroke, but carded a 1-under 69 to win by two strokes over Scott Stallings and Phil Mickelson.
–Notches his first PGA Tour victory in his 44th start and at the age of 23 years, 10 months and 16 days. With the victory, he collects 500 points and moves from No. 72 to No. 13 in the FedExCup standings.
–Americans continue to dominate the FedEx St. Jude Classic, with English becoming the 11th different winner from the United States since 2000 (Lee Westwood in 2010 the lone exception).
–Becomes the seventh come-from-behind winner at the FedEx St. Jude Classic in the last eight years (Brian Gay in 2009 the exception).
–Becomes the seventh player to win the FedEx St. Jude Classic in his first start in the event’s 56-year history. He is the ninth first-time winner this season.
–The 23-year-old becomes the eighth player to win in his 20s in 2013 (compared to 15 in 2012). He is the second consecutive player to win the FedEx St. Jude Classic in his 20s (Dustin Johnson/2012), but just the third overall since 2000 (Notah Begay/2000).
–English is the sixth player this season to carry the first-round lead/co-lead on to victory (was part of a six-way tie for the lead after an opening 4-under 66) and the seventh second-round leader/co-leader to win.
— Wins in his 17th start of his sophomore season, with four top-10 finishes this year. Prior to his win, his best and most recent finish was T6 at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. His previous-best career finish was a T5 at the 2012 Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial.
–English, a 2011 University of Georgia grad, attended Baylor School in Chattanooga (2003-2007), where he led the school to four state titles. While at Baylor, he also won one individual state title.
–Becomes the second former University of Georgia player to win a PGA Tour event this season (Russell Henley/Sony Open in Hawaii) and adds his name to a list of Bulldog winners on Tour that includes Chip Beck, Bill Kratzert, Bubba Watson, Chris Kirk, Tim Simpson and Ryuji Imada.
–English’s third start as a professional came at the Web.com Tour’s 2011 Chattanooga Children’s Hospital Golf Classic at Black Creek Club (missed cut). He claimed victory on that Tour, as an amateur, at the 2011 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Invitational. English posts the 357th win on Tour by an alumnus of the Web.com Tour.
–Entered the final round of the FedEx St. Jude Classic trailing Shawn Stefani by four strokes and appeared poised for his third-career victory before a double bogey on No. 15 and bogey on No. 18 derailed his title hopes. The second-place finish is the first of his career, to go with wins at the 2011 Greenbrier Classic and 2012 Sanderson Farms Championship.
–Stallings was hoping to become the third Tennessean to win the event (Cary Middlecoff/1961 and Gibby Gilbert/1976).
–Stallings’ runner-up finish came in his third start at the FedEx St. Jude Classic (T25-2011, MC-2012, T2-2013).
–After missing four straight made cuts (RBC Heritage, Zurich Classic of New Orleans, Wells Fargo Championship, THE PLAYERS Championship), Stallings has reeled off three-consecutive top-4 finishes (T4-Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial, T4-the Memorial Tournament, T2-FedEx St. Jude Classic.)
–The 41-time PGA Tour winner, posted the 28th runner-up finish of his PGA Tour career on Sunday, finishing two strokes behind Harris English. He now has at least one win and one runner-up finish in each of the last 10 years on the PGA Tour.
–Has improved in each of his three starts in Memphis (MC-2001, T59-2009, T2-2013).
–Played the week before each of his four major championship victories. He won the 2006 BellSouth Classic the week before claiming his second Masters green jacket.
–PGA Tour rookie and third-round leader struggled on Sunday to a 6-over 76 and a T7 finish, equaling his best finish on Tour T7 at the Tampa Bay Championship.
–Stefani suffered a quadruple bogey during the third round. He was hoping to become just the fourth player since 1983 to overcome a quadruple bogey and win on the PGA Tour: Phil Mickelson at the 2009 Tour Championship by Coca-Cola, David Toms at the 2003 Wells Fargo Championship and David Graham at the 1983 Shell Houston Open.
–Was seeking to become just the fourth player to win the FedEx St. Jude Classic in their first start since the event moved to TPC Southwind in 1989: Dustin Johnson (2012), Lee Westwood (2010) and Dicky Pride (1994). Just six players overall have won here in their first appearance.
Additional Player Notes
–Defending champion Dustin Johnson finished T10 in his bid to join David Toms (2003-2004) as players to successfully defend their FedEx St. Jude Classic title. The last player to successfully defend on the PGA Tour was Tiger Woods at the Arnold Palmer Invitational (2012-13).
— Ryan Palmer played the last 37 holes without a bogey en route to a fourth-place finish.
— Gary Woodland (T18) turned in the round of the day with a 64, falling one shy of his career-low round – a third-round 63 at the 2009 OHL Classic at Mayakoba.
–Brad Fritsch (T56) holed out for eagle on the par-4 18th hole with an 8-iron from 177 yards.
–Patrick Reed finished a career-best fifth, topping a T7 at the 2013 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.
–Justin Hicks finished T7 for his first-career PGA Tour top-10 finish (45 starts).
–Billy Horschel (T10) notched his sixth top-10 finish of the season, tied with Keegan Bradley, Bill Haas, Brandt Snedeker and Matt Kuchar for most on Tour.
–Glen Day finished T10 for his first top 10 since the 2008 RBC Canadian Open (T8).