Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Henley Leaves Langley, Rest of the Field Behind; St. Louisan Finishes in a Tie for Third at Sony Open as Fellow Rookie Shoots a 63 and Sets a Tournament Record with a 24-Under 256

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Henley Leaves Langley, Rest of the Field Behind; St. Louisan Finishes in a Tie for Third at Sony Open as Fellow Rookie Shoots a 63 and Sets a Tournament Record with a 24-Under 256

Article excerpt

HONOLULU Russell Henley only felt like a rookie at the Sony Open.

He sure didnt play like one.

He was so nervous Sunday afternoon that he couldnt feel his arms and legs, and everything around him seemed to be moving at warp speed.

Only when he finished his record-setting performance with one last birdie did he realize what happened. He became the first player in 10 years to win in his debut as a PGA Tour rookie, had the second- best score for a 72-hole tournament in PGA Tour history and a set the record score at the Sony Open by four shots.

Among those he beat was St. Louisan Scott Langley, who also was making his first Tour start. Langley, who was in the lead or shared it for much of the tourney, finished tied for third place good for a $324,800 payday.

Henley finished with five straight birdies only one of them inside 10 feet for a 29 on the back nine and a 7-under 63, and a final total of 24-under par 256 and just over $1 million.

And yes, he earned a spot in The Masters.

Im 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, youre going to play this game a long time, and be patient, it doesnt have to happen now. Everything I could to psyche myself out of thinking about winning. It worked.

The back nine was simply surreal. Henley won by three shots over Tim Clark, who birdied seven of his last 11 holes and still made up only one shot on the rookie from Georgia.

When you get up close and watch a guy play ... if thats how he putts all the time, whew! Its over, Clark said.

And it was.

Henley, who was tied for the lead with Parkway South grad Scott Langley to start the final round, seized control with a birdie on the opening hole and then poured it on at the end.

I wish I would have played a little bit better today and made some more putts, said Langley, who missed three birdie putts of 5 feet on the front nine. …

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