CROMWELL Conn. — Despite a long layoff from competitive golf, Harris English is back at the Travelers Championship and in prime position to successfully defend his title.
English, who is in contention after a second-round 65, endured a five-month hiatus from the game earlier this year after opting to have surgery on a torn labrum in his right hip in Vail, Colorado. He then stayed there for roughly three weeks doing rehab twice a day.
English said for the past 10 years, he's been dealing with the injury and has been "band-aiding it with shots and injections and rehab, PT, pretty much everything."
It got to a point where it wasn't getting better. He initially didn't want to have the surgery because he didn't want to miss the year's first two majors, but he eventually was left with no choice.
"I just didn't want to be hurt," English said. "Didn't want to be playing hurt. It's tough to compete even at 100% out here. There are a lot of good players and young guys coming up. I was like, 'Well, had two wins last year so I've got some status for the next few years. Might as well get surgery and get it behind me so I can get after the next few years.'"
Last year, English ended a seven-year winless drought at the Sentry Tournament of Champions and then claimed his second win of the year in an eight-hole playoff at the Travelers. Behind those two victories, he secured his first-ever spot on the U.S. Ryder Cup team.
It was a long road for English to get back in the winner's circle, and even though he's been sidelined for much of 2022, the world No. 28 never lost his confidence. However, the 32-year-old hopes he finally lost the pain that's been nagging him for a decade.
"Working on the right things, feeling like I'm making great strides, and, I don't know, I'm not searching anymore," he said, "I feel like I know what I'm doing. I know when it gets off how to correct it. So it's just been a lot more fun playing golf that way."