English dials in two shot lead at halfway stage in Hawaii


Harris English in Hawaii (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

New year but the gravy train keeps rolling for Harris English who holds a two shot lead at the halfway stage of the season opening Sentry Tournament of Champions. The American birdied his final hole in a six-under par 67 to move to 14-under, two strokes clear of a quartet of players that includes defending champion Justin Thomas, Collin Morikawa, Daniel Berger and Ryan Palmer.

English’s hot start is no surprise given his consistency of last year. Starting last season with conditional status and at No. 369 in the world when he lost his full PGA Tour card, he did well enough to finish 12th in the FedExCup and starts this year at No. 29. His only victory was joining Matt Kuchar in the two-man team QBE Shootout last month but English will hope to find individual success at the first time of asking this term on the Plantation Course at Kapalua where scores remained low and several players were stacked up behind him.

They include Masters champion and world number one, Dustin Johnson who hit it close enough all day to ensure enough putts would drop in a no fuss 65 “Felt like I got back in the tournament a little bit,” said Johnson, playing for the first time since his Green Jacket triumph.


Thomas meanwhile remains right in the mix despite struggling to maintain a one-shot lead he held at the turn. The world number 3 missed a short birdie chance on the par-3 11th and then struggled to keep it in play thereafter, dropping a shot at 13 before a final hole birdie returned a no frills even par inward half. He was among 16 players separated by four shots going into the final two days.

Xander Schauffele holed an 80-foot eagle putt on the 18th for a 66 and was in the group at 11-under 135 that included Patrick Reed, who had a 68. Another shot back was the group that included Johnson, the best placed European in Jon Rahm (66) and US Open champion Bryson DeChambeau (67).

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