published Friday, September 2nd, 2011

English to go pro for Classic

Former Baylor School star golfer Harris English will play in the most prestigious amateur tournament in the world next weekend.

Then he'll be back at his old stomping grounds on Sept. 13 to announce the beginning of a professional pursuit that began on the greens at Black Creek Club.

English will announce his decision to turn professional and play in the Children's Hospital Classic on Oct. 6-10 at Black Creek -- barring something unforeseen as he plays Sept. 10-11 in the Walker Cup in Scotland.

"It takes the tournament to the next level when you have a person like Harris and the high level of achievement he has at such a young age in his career," said Mickey McCamish, director of the local Nationwide Tour event. "To have him as part of the tournament is phenomenal."

English won the Nationwide Tour's Children's Hospital Invitational in Columbus, Ohio, earlier this year as an amateur. He beat a field full of professionals who have been on the PGA Tour or are working to get there.

"I started working on this idea the day after he won," McCamish said. "It was my vision to have him here and we'd adjust the announcement to meet his schedule."

English, who graduated this year from the University of Georgia, turned down the $144,000 first-place prize check in Columbus to maintain his amateur status. That allowed him to compete in the U.S. Amateur, where he reached the round of 32, and participate in the Walker Cup for the United States.

He was among the first four golfers named to the American team, which already is practicing at Royal Aberdeen Golf Club.

"He'll be flying from Scotland to Chattanooga on Monday [Sept. 12], then will join us all on Tuesday," McCamish said. "It says so much about his willingness to give back to the community and his school by making his announcement here.

"There's a lot of win-wins here, and he's sharing them with Chattanooga, Baylor, the Nationwide Tour and the Children's Hospital Classic."

about David Uchiyama...

David Uchiyama is a sports writer at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who began his tenure here in May 2001. His primary beats are UTC athletics — specifically men’s basketball and athletic department administration — and golf, which includes coverage from the PGA Tour to youth events. He also covers other high school sports, outdoor adventures, and contributes to other sections of the newspaper when necessary. David grew up in Salinas, Calif., and began working ...

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