Justin Rose and admitted after shooting 64 on
Friday that his ascension to the top of the lead-
erboard was “kind of a cool story.”
“I’m your prototypical journeyman,” said
the 43-year-old Michigan native. “I’ve been
doing it the last 22 years now, played all over
the world, 26 countries. I would say, yeah, I’m
a late bloomer.”
Gillis nearly quit the touring pro life five
years ago when he finished outside the top 100
on the Nationwide Tour money list but decided
to give it one more fling.
“The job market wasn’t very good,” he said.
“Didn’t have a whole lot to offer (employers), to
be quite honest to you. So, I thought I’d better
turn around and go back out there and see if I
have anything left ... I’ve never led out here. I
kind of wanted to do that this week.”
The happy ending to this story was the birdie
Gillis carded on the 72nd hole Sunday to tie
Woods for second place.
Gillis had a remarkable putting day in the
third round, when he made a 28-footer to save
par at No. 8, a 28-footer for par at No. 9 and a
33-footer for par at No. 11.
He said the last time he putted like that was
in a practice round before the 1993 Jamaica
Open. Before the round, Gillis had left his tennis shoes in his golf bag. When his caddie returned the bag afterward, the shoes were gone.
“So, I’m mad,” Gillis said. “That’s it, I’m firing
this guy. My buddy, he’s like ‘you’ve got to be
kidding me. You’ve got to be the stupidest guy I
know if you’re going to fire this guy.’ I said ‘why?’
He said, ‘You made three or four 40-footers in
the practice round on the worst greens you’ve
ever putted on. The guy can read them great.’ ”
Harris English had never played in a PGA
Tour event until his first start of the 2012
season, but the former University of Georgia
standout hasn’t been particularly star-struck
by the experience. He’s made the cut in each of
his first six events, and began the final round
of the Honda Classic only two shots out of the
lead and playing on Sunday in the last group.
English described his last year as being “
unbelievable,” starting with making it to the finals
of the NCAA Championship at Georgia, playing in
the Walker Cup, winning a Nationwide Tour event
in Columbus, Ohio, as an amateur and then earning his playing card at Qualifying School.
“Playing in the Walker Cup was probably the
biggest stage I’ve played on, and it was really
just good for me,” he said. “I’ve learned a lot
this past year. Hopefully, I can keep learning.
These veterans out here have helped me a good
bit. Hopefully, I can keep getting in contention
like this and having some good experiences.”
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