(Reuters) - Panic is off the agenda for Harris English, despite a lengthy barren run, as he aims to reignite his form in the welcome surrounds of the El Camaleon Golf Club for his title defense at this week’s OHL Classic at Mayakoba.
A year ago at the same venue in Mexico’s Playa del Carmen, the American was on a hot streak as he cruised to his second PGA Tour victory in five months, one of six top-10 finishes he recorded in his first 10 events of the 2013-14 season.
However, English has since failed to replicate that consistency, and has made the cut only three times in his last nine starts on the U.S. circuit.
”I don’t want to panic,“ the 25-year-old told PGATour.com while preparing for Thursday’s opening round. ”In this game you can be so close sometimes and ... it’s a brutal game.
“It’ll knock you down when you’re at the highest of the high and it’ll do some unexpected things ... you’ve just got to let it come to you.”
English, who has triumphed twice on the PGA Tour, feels his game has improved markedly since his recent change in swing coach from Mike Taylor to Scott Hamilton.
”It was nothing against him,“ English said of his decision to leave Taylor, with whom he had worked since his senior year of college. ”I just had to hear something different.
”My game’s getting a lot better. I’ve been working hard the past couple weeks, couple months and it’s coming together.
“If I can keep getting better and better every day and keep giving myself opportunities, then it’ll click.”
Returning to the El Camaleon Golf Club, where he won last year’s OHL Classic at Mayakoba by four shots, has been an automatic tonic for English.
“It’s a place I’ll always want to come back to if I play golf or don’t play golf,” he said. “This tournament has done so much for me ... so I‘m really looking forward to the challenge of defending my title.”
English has been grouped with fellow American and FedExCup points leader Robert Streb and Canadian rookie Nick Taylor, who won his first PGA Tour title at the Sanderson Farms Championship on Sunday, for the first two rounds.
The OHL Classic is the seventh event on the 2014-15 PGA Tour, which will then take a break of almost two months before resuming with the Jan. 9-12 Hyundai Tournament of Champions in Hawaii.
Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Frank Pingue