Top-20 finish for Martin Laird as Harris English wins in Hawaii

Martin Laird started 2021 with a solid top-20 finish as Harris English claimed a third PGA Tour victory in the Sentry Tournament of Champions in Hawaii.

Harris English of the United States poses with the trophy after defeating Joaquin Niemann in a play-off in the Sentry Tournament Of Champions at the Kapalua Plantation Course in Hawaii. Picture: Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images.

In his fourth appearance in the event, Laird closed with a 70 on the Plantation Course in Kapalua for a 16-under-par 276 total.

That earned him a tie for 17th spot in the record 42-player field for the traditional year opener on the island of Maui.English, who played in the 2011 Walker Cup at Royal Aberdeen, beat Chile’s Joaquin Niemann with a birdie at the first extra hole to land his victory.

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The pair had finished locked together on 25-under, one shot ahead of defending champion Justin Thomas, with Ryan Palmer a shot further back in fourth spot.

Martin Laird plays his shot from the second tee during the final round of the Sentry Tournament Of Champions in Hawaii. Picture: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images.

Niemann, who was forced to withdraw from the Masters in November after testing positive for Covid-19, had closed with an eight-under 64 to set the clubhouse target.

That was matched by English as he came home in 33 before the 31-year-old repeated a birdie at the 18th in a sudden-death shoot-out.The win came in his 193rd start since his last PGA Tour victory and it was also his 250th start on the US circuit.

“It feels amazing,” English told “All the hard work that has gone into this, all the highs and lows of golf that it brings over a career.“I feel like I've gotten out of my valley and getting back to the tournaments and some of the quality of golf that I know I can play.

“It feels great to have some validation out there on the golf course.”

Both English and Niemann failed to win in 2020, but they qualified for the event via the 2020 TOUR Championship – a result of changes to the schedule due to the Covid-19 pandemic

US Open champion Bryson DeChambeau closed with a 66 - his best round of the week - to finish in a tie for seventh on 20-under alongside world No 2 Jon Rahm (67) and US PGA title holder Collin Morikawa (73).In his first outing since winning the Masters, world No 1 Dustin Johnson (69) ended up two shots further behind, as did Sergio Garcia (70).

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