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By mustang6560 on 1/14/13
While the story of the day is Rory McIlroy signing with Nike Golf, it wouldn't be fair to Russell Henley if we didn't discuss his victory yesterday in the first full-field event of the 2013 PGA Tour season.

In his first PGA Tour appearance, Russell ran away with the Sony Open in Hawaii to become the first rookie to win his debut since Garrett Willis in 2001. It wasn't a major championship field, however, Matt Kuchar, Webb Simpson, and Vijay Singh were a few of the championship-caliber players Russell was able to defeat Waialae Country Club.
"I'm pretty speechless," Henley said. "I was trying not to think about Augusta out there because I just kept telling myself, 'This is a long year, you're going to play this game a long time, and be patient, it doesn't have to happen now.' Everything I could to psyche myself out of thinking about winning. It worked."
In addition to winning his debut, he set a few Sony Open records including lowest 36-hole lead (126), lowest 54-hole lead, which he shared with Scott Langley (193), lowest closing round (7-under-par 63), and lowest total (256). His 24-under-par is the third-lowest score in the history of the PGA Tour. Only Tommy Armour III (254 in 2003 Valero Texas Open) and Steve Stricker (255 in 2009 Bob Hope Classic) have posted lower 72-hole scores.

For Russell, though, the most important thing to come as a result of his victory in Hawaii is his invitation to the Masters.
"I don't really know what happened, honestly," Henley said. "This is the most nervous I've ever been. That's the hardest thing I've ever done. It's been my goal to make it to the Masters my whole life. I'm kind of speechless right now."
How cool would it be if in addition to winning his first PGA Tour start, he also won his first major championship start? It's unlikely but it would be a great story!


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[ comments ]
joe jones says:
I love the putting stroke. Pick a line, take your stance, two practice strokes and hit it. Wow!
1/14/13
 
Duke of Hazards says:
he seemed pretty focused. the fact that he was able to hold on to a 36 and 54 hole lead and keep pushing towards the finish as a rookie in his first official event indicates he may have the mental game to stand out from the rest. his buddy Langley, not so much. nice guy and nice swing, but he kind of crumbled down the stretch.
1/14/13
 
GolfSmith7 says:
Impressive victory for sure!
1/14/13
 
legitimatebeef says:
Who did what now.
1/14/13
 
Kurt the Knife says:
thats cool.
1/14/13
 
Torleif Sorenson says:
I guess I'm going to have to go back and look at the video...

...and I would have thought that he would be more satisfied with his two-year exemption on tour and knowing that he'll have TWO weeks in Hawaii next year. But I guess he's confident enough in his game that he would have retained his card one way or another.
1/15/13
 
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