9 Tidbits You Didn’t Know About Harris English

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Harris English fought off the venerable Phil Mickelson in Memphis, Tenn., on Sunday at the FedEx St. Jude Classic, giving the 23-year-old his maiden victory on the PGA Tour.

You know all about Mickelson, and we’re confident you’re abreast on your English knowledge too. But considering Lefty boasts 40 more PGA wins than the foe he couldn’t conquer this weekend, we thought you might not know as much about this second-year pro.

So here’s an English lesson – nine things to learn about Harris English:

1) He is the ninth first-time PGA Tour victor this season, in which 24 events have taken place. English stayed under 70 all week, including a 6-under 64 on Friday, earning $1.026 million in wages for his work. Fellow first-timers in 2013: Russell Henley (Sony Open), John Merrick (Northern Trust Open), Michael Thompson (Honda Classic), Scott Brown (Puerto Rico Open), Kevin Streelman (Tampa Bay Championship), Billy Horschel (Zurich Classic), Derek Ernst (Wells Fargo Championship) and Sang-Moon Bae (Byron Nelson Championship).

2) English is the eighth player in his 20s to win this year, whereas 15 did so last year. Seventeen tournaments remain in 2013.

3) He won the final tune-up for the U.S. Open, but he didn’t qualify to play in the U.S. Open, nor has he ever in his career.

4) English will, however, appear in his first Masters, as Sunday’s win gets him into next year’s event via the qualification rule which states golfers are invited if they are “winners of PGA Tour events that award a full-point allocation for the season-ending Tour Championship, from previous Masters to current Masters.”

5) Born, raised and collegiately schooled in Georgia (at the University of Georgia, where his father, Ben, played basketball in the 1980’s), English will surely cherish his time in Augusta, Georgia.

Harris at Georgia

6) He did not receive his high school diploma in Georgia, as he actually attended the Baylor School, a boarding institution in Chattanooga, Tenn., where won an individual state title and helped the school to a team state championship in each of his four years. That’s the same state in which he triumphed Sunday, and made a fan of Samuel L. Jackson:

 

7) English, with the help of his caddie, Brian Smith, names his clubs. “We call my 47-degree pitching wedge, ‘Michael Irvin,'” he says in his official PGA Tour profile, “because that is the number Irvin wore when he played at the University of Miami.”

8) English’s favorite food is rutabaga. It is a root vegetable that is thought to be a cross between cabbage and turnip.

9) A 1989 quarter serves as his ball marker, representing the year he was born. A 1995 quarter did the trick at the 2011 PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament, marking the year his caddie graduated from high school.

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