The Loop

After two years of heartbreak, Harris English finally punches a ticket to the Tour Championship -- with some late help

September 20, 2015

There was plenty of golf drama on Sunday morning (thank you, Solheim Cup). There was basically no golf drama on Sunday afternoon (thank you Jason Day).

The Aussie won by six shots again, and the all-important top-five in the FedEx Cup standings heading into next week's season finale stayed the same. But there was tension around who else will head to the Tour Championship. Hence, the "basically."

After clutch performances by Bill Haas (66) and Louis Oosthuizen (69), by Sunday evening, it looked like the final spot would come down to one of two golfers: Harris English and Justin Thomas. And as luck would have it, they were paired together.

Thomas was in the driver's seat on the 18th tee and after a great drive on the par 5, he was in fantastic position. But he went for the green in two and found the hazard. English, meanwhile, laid up and then hit a mediocre wedge to the back fringe, some 20 feet from the cup.

Thomas again looked safe after taking a drop and pitching his fourth shot to about three feet. Then, English did this:

Thomas answered by converting his par putt and it appeared he would take the final spot.

Whoops. Let's try this again.

Ouch. . . . But it wasn't over yet! Kevin Na faced a 10-footer for par on the final hole. A miss would drop him out of the top 10 and into a tie with Thomas, which would give Thomas enough points to jump ahead of English. But Na made it and gave a huge fist pump, not realizing he was guaranteed a spot in the Tour Championship no matter what.

That left Thomas at No. 32, just behind Daniel Summerhays at No. 31. There will be no trip for either to East Lake, even if Jim Furyk, who withdrew from the BMW Championship after six holes with a wrist injury, doesn't tee it up next week.

Thomas has to feel the worst about not making it considering he was 10 under after the second round, but only managed a one under weekend. However, it's hard not to feel good for English, who finished 31st and 32nd the past two years, missing out on a trip to the Tour Championship by just one stroke each time.

He'll be there this time thanks to two clutch putts, one of which he didn't even have to make himself. Treating Na to dinner in Atlanta only seems fair.