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Former Tennessee high school star Harris English claimed his first PGA Tour victory at the FedEx St. Jude Classic, cobbling together an up-and-down final-round 69 in front of a gallery stocked with high school friends to edge Phil Mickelson and Scott Stallings by two.  The 23-year-old English, a former All-American at the University of Georgia, began Sunday one shot behind Shawn Stefani and appeared to have shot imself out of contention after bogeys at the 8th and 9th caused him to turn in 38.  But comeback birdies at 10 and 11 gave him new life and, following an untimely bogey at the par-4 13th, clutch birdies at the 16th and 17th finally moved him in front to stay.  Stefani, meanwhile, hung around the lead early but was sunk by a run of four bogeys from the 8th through the 12th, ultimately carding a disappointing 76 and tying for seventh.  Among the contenders, it was Stallings who, for the second straight week, mounted the biggest Sunday charge, recording birdies at 3, 6, 8 and 9 to claim a lead that at one point swelled to three shots.  But English cut into that with his back nine birdies before Stallings dashed his own hopes with a double-bogey at the 15th and a bogey at the last.  And then there was Mickelson, who shot a third-round 65 to get within site of the leaders, then played his first 11 holes at even par on Sunday before birdies at 14, 16 and 18 lifted him to a share of second.  For Mickelson, one of the rare elite entries this week, it served as a positive tune up for next week’s U.S. Open at Merion…………… Joost Luiten of The Netherlands claimed his second career European Tour victory at the Lyoness Open, darting to a three-stroke lead over a stellar first 54 holes before coasting home with a weather-interrupted final-round 71 in Atzenbrugg, Austria.  The 27-year-old Luiten, who nearly won this same event (before ultimately tying for third) in 2011, birdied five of his first six holes in Thursday’s opening round but was rather less spectacular on Sunday, turning in one-under-par 35 before bogeying the 202-yard 11th, then securing the trophy with a birdie three at the 411-yard 16th.  Two strokes in arrears was Thomas Bjorn of Denmark (who closed in 68) while third place was shared by China’s Wen-Chong Liang (66) and Romain Wattel of France, who played the week’s steadiest golf with rounds of 68-68-69-69.  Luiten’s closest pursuers after the third-round, Spaniards Jorge Campillo and Eduardo De La Riva, struggled on Sunday, carding rounds of 72 and 73 respectively.  Also disappointed on Sunday was defending champion Bernd Wiesberger, who bogeyed the 18th to tie for 14th when a top 10 would have moved him into the top 60 of the Official World Ranking, earning him a late spot in next week’s U.S. Open…………… In one of the more memorable finishes in recent Sunshine Tour history, 26-year-old Jacques Blaauw captured his maiden professional win at the Vodacom Origins of Golf - Eastern Cape, with the margin of victory coming via an eagle at the 442-yard par-4 70th hole.  Blauuw had entered Friday's final round with a one-shot lead, then fallen behind after going out in two-over-par 38 before mounting a final nine charge with birdies at holes 11, 14 and 15.  By this point, he was locked in a close battle with P.H. McIntyre (who closed with a sterling 65) and Danie van Tonder, as well as 14-time Sunshine Tour winner Desvonde Botes, who'd moved into contention with an eagle at the par-5 15th.  But lightning struck at the long par-4 16th when Blaauw spun his 147-yard approach back more than 15 feet into the hole, suddenly thrusting him two ahead with two to play.  Both McIntyre (still looking for his first win after finishing second a week earlier) and Neil Schietekat birdied the par-5 18th to close within one.  But van Tonder, who could have forced a tie with a final birdie of his own, could only par the last, and Botes could only par the final three, leaving Blaauw to raise the trophy by the narrowest of margins.   

Posted on Sunday, June 9, 2013 at 08:34PM by Registered CommenterDaniel | Comments Off