A steady finish by Harris English coupled with a late stumble by Swede Robert Karlsson helped lift the American to a four-stroke victory at the US$6 million OHL Classic at Mayakoba on Sunday.
English closed with a six-under 65 at the El Camaleon Golf Club in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, to cruise to his second PGA Tour victory following his breakthrough win at the St Jude Classic in Tennessee in June.
The 24-year-old English bogeyed the par-four second, birdied seven of his next 11 holes and then closed the tournament with five consecutive pars for a 21-under 263 total and a US$1.08 million payday.
“It was an awesome win. I was a lot more comfortable out there than I was in Memphis a couple of months ago,” English said after moving to second on the FedExCup points standings.
Fellow American Brian Stuard (67) claimed second place at 17-under, while compatriots Jason Bohn (68) and Chris Stroud (68) were a further shot back along with South Africa’s Rory Sabbatini (70).
The leaders had to complete more than half of the third round on Sunday following torrential rain earlier that put the event behind schedule.
Third-round leader Karlsson, who led by a stroke at the turn, sent drives into jungle hazards at the 12th and 13th holes for successive bogeys, and then double-bogeyed 14 to fall out of contention.
The Swede finished tied for sixth at 15-under.
“Even yesterday I wasn’t playing great and was struggling a little bit with the driver, and on a course like this you can’t hit the really bad ones [and] unfortunately I did,” Karlsson told PGA Tour Radio. “You usually get found out when it’s into the wind and that’s what happened, but [I’m] very, very happy with the week overall and two top 10s in a row.”
English started the final round one shot behind Karlsson and was still behind at the turn, before picking up birdies at the 10th and 11th holes to take a one-stroke lead.
Karlsson then self-destructed to all but hand victory to English, who only had to avoid disaster down the stretch, which he duly did.
The Mayakoba event marked the sixth official tournament of the 2013-2014 PGA Tour season, which for the first time started its season last month, rather than in January.
The tour now takes a break before resuming in Hawaii in early January.