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English breaks through at FedEx St Jude

(Photo: Bruce Young)
Harris English gave the indication when winning as an amateur on the then Nationwide Tour in 2011 that he was something special.

Today he provided further proof of just that by winning his first PGA Tour event at the FedEx St Jude Classic.

English held on to defeat Scott Stallings and Phil Mickelson by two shots with Ryan Palmer one shot further back.

As the third round leader, Shawn Steffani dropped out of contention with an opening nine of 38 today, the event essentially developed into a battle between English and Stallings, Stallings looking for his third victory on the PGA Tour while English was chasing a breakthrough win.

Stallings had lead when he reached the par 4 15th where, after finding the water with his approach, he took double bogey and was back in a share of the lead with English.

English took control however when he birdied the 16th and 17th and had the luxury of playing the last with a two shot lead which he parred for the two shot win.

English improves 55 places to number 84 in the world.

Phil Mickelson closed quickly with three birdies in his last five holes for a round of 67 including a near hole out at the last to finish tied for second with Stallings. It was the perfect warm-up for Mickelson heading into next week's US Open where he has recorded five runner-up finishes.

Robert Allenby and Nick O'Hern finished as the leading Australians finishing in 10th position. For Allenby it was his best finish on the PGA Tour since finishing 7th in this very event last year. After a long time in the wilderness Allenby's game has shown signs of improvement lately and this is a big leap forward.

Nick O'Hern also showed his liking for the TPC Southwind layout, this his best PGA Tour finish since his 3rd place effort here twelve months ago.

The PGA Tour now moves to the suburbs of Philadelphia for this week's US Open at the Merion Golf Club.

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