Memphis, TN – Harris English carded a pair of late birdies on Sunday and came from behind to win the FedEx St. Jude Classic.
English closed with a 1-under 69 to finish at 12-under-par 268. The victory was his first on the PGA Tour.
With his rally, English made it seven of the last eight winners at this event that have come from behind to win the title.
"It was close all week. I was feeling really good about my ball-striking all week and had to get those putts to fall," English said. "I kept it together. I had bad bogeys at eight and nine, but stuck with it and made some good birdies coming in."
Phil Mickelson nearly dunked his approach shot at the last, but settled for a kick-in birdie that closed a round at 3-under 67. He shared second place at minus-10 with Scott Stallings (68). Ryan Palmer (67) was one stroke back at 9- under 271.
Patrick Reed (70) took fifth at minus-8, while John Rollins (68) ended alone in sixth at 7-under 273 at TPC Southwind.
Third-round leader Shawn Stefani struggled to a 6-over 76, which dropped him into a share of seventh at minus-6. He was joined there by Rory Sabbatini (68) and Justin Hicks (69).
Stefani started the day with a 1-stroke lead, but he bogeyed the first after missing the green with his approach. He parred six in a row, then bogeyed four of five holes from the eighth to fall out of contention.
That left it to English, Stallings and a late-charging Mickelson. English couldn't keep any momentum going. He dropped shots at the second and fifth, but had birdies on three and four.
After stumbling to bogeys at eight and nine to fall three back, English rallied with birdies at 10 and 11, both from inside 13 feet, to inch back within one. He 3-putted for bogey at the par-4 13th to dip two back.
Stallings, meanwhile, was playing steady golf. He birdied the par-5 third, then poured in three birdies in a 4-hole span from the sixth to grab the lead at minus-12.
After five pars in a row, Stalling made a mess of the 15th. He dumped his tee ball in the water and that led to a double-bogey, which dropped him into a share of the lead alongside English at minus-10.
Stallings got one shot back as he birdied the par-5 16th. English matched that as he 2-putted from just inside 70 feet for birdie.
Mickelson was making a late run at the same time. He was even-par with two bogeys and two birdies through 13 holes. Mickelson birdied the 14th and 16th to move to 9-under.
The left-hander nearly dunked his approach at the last for eagle. Mickelson kicked in his birdie to end at minus-10.
"I hit a lot good irons shots, but I had a little bit of trouble getting some of the putts to go and my pace was just off. I kind of limped it up there on 12, then killed it right through the break on 13," Mickelson said. "I hit some good wedges coming in and I thought that one on 18 was going to go, but it looks like it's not going to be enough."
Stallings, who played alongside Mickelson in the final round, missed the green at the last and failed to get up and down for par. The closing bogey dropped him to 10-under.
English made it two in a row with a 17-footer for birdie at 17. That gave him a 2-shot lead at 12-under. He 2-putted for par at the last to seal the win.
NOTES: English earned $1.026 million for the win ... He became the seventh player to win this event in his first start at the tournament ... English is the ninth first-time winner this year ... Despite the loss, Stefani's tie for seventh matched his best tour finish ... The tour heads to Pennsylvania next week for the second major of the season, the U.S. Open, where Webb Simpson will defend his title on the East Course at Merion Golf Club.