It took J.J. Henry 144 starts to get his first career victory on the PGA TOUR.
Sunday, after a winless drought of 177 events, he got his second.
“I'll take it,” said Henry, who earned seven points under the Modified Stableford scoring in the final round of the Reno-Tahoe Open. “I hope I don’t have to wait another 176 starts.”
Henry, who ended the week with 43 points, held off Alexandre Rocha by one. With the victory, Henry earned 250 FedExCup points and earned a spot in next week’s PGA Championship.
The one-time U.S. Ryder Cup team member now hopes it sparks something in the second half of his career.
“I'm a little bit of a different time in my life with family. I'm 37. I've been out here 12 years,” Henry said. “For whatever reason I couldn't quite get over the hump and win like I did in 2006, and I made the Ryder Cup team that year, and I really felt like that would be kind of that turning stone for me, if you will, to really kind of jump me into that upper echelon, and for whatever reason it didn't happen. I continued to work hard; I play a lot of tournaments. Again, I'm grateful for the opportunity to play golf for a living. I've got great support, family and friends; and I couldn't be happier right now.”
One other member of Henry’s family who will be happy: His 3-year-old son.
“He goes, ‘Daddy, bring home trophy.’ And that's really all I thought about out there those last couple holes,” Henry said. “And I said it out there on the green, I'm coming home tomorrow with a trophy.”
J.J. Henry racked up 43 points to win by one at the Reno-Tahoe Open, where Modified Stableford scoring was used. The win is Henry’s second and first since 2006. He earned 250 FedExCup points and a spot in next week’s PGA Championship. Send your note of congratulations below and we’ll pass it along to Henry.
J.J. Henry held on to win the Reno-Tahoe Open on Sunday.
It’s Henry’s first victory since 2006. The win earned him 250 FedexCup points and a spot in next week’s PGA Championship.
Henry made four birdies and one bogey in the final round at Montreux G&CC, where he scored seven points in the final round of the Modified Stableford scoring system event.
Alexandre Rocha finished one point back after a birdie on the 18th hole, earning him three points to pull within one of Henry.
Henry two-putted for par, however, to secure the victory.
The final groups are on the back nine at Montreux G&CC, where J.J. Henry is in position for his first win since 2006, the year of his only win on the PGA TOUR.
Henry has three birdies so far in the final round -- which were worth six points -- but for the week he has 16 of them. More importantly, he’s had three eagles this week. Those were worth an additional 15 points.
Though it’s unlikely John Daly -- who had 32 points when he made the turn to the back nine -- will catch Henry, there’s no denying Daly has played well of late.
Daly tied for 19th in Memphis in June then tied for 12th at The Greenbrier Classic last month. In Canada last week, three of his four rounds were in the 60s, including a final-round 66.
Others in contention on the back nine in Reno: Alexandre Rocha, Andres Romero and John Mallinger.
Click here for live scores from the final round of the Reno-Tahoe Open.
FOLLOW: Live scores
J.J. Henry continues to make the most of the back nine at Montreux G&CC, collecting 27 of his 36 points on the inward nine through 54 holes. What will he do as he tees off in the final round? If it’s anything like the first few days, he should be able to collect his first win since 2006.
Henry leads the field with three eagles through 54 holes after making holing a pitch shot from just off the green at the 308-yard par-4 14th on Saturday. It was the second time this week Henry jarred one from the fairway (the other came in the first round at the 423-yard par-4 12th, his third hole of the day, with a 9-iron from 167 yards).
Henry entered the week ranked 126 th on the PGA TOUR in total eagles with only three in his first 24 events.
The only other time Henry has held a 54-hole lead? The 2006 Travelers, where he went on to record his first and only career win.
He has a solid track record here, too, with three career top 10s, including a tie for third in 2002, in seven starts.
Should Henry go on to win, he would earn a spot in next week’s PGA Championship.
Chasing Henry is Brazil’s Alexandre Rocha, who is three points back.
Rocha is in position for his career-best finish on the PGA TOUR. Entering the Reno-Tahoe Open, Rocha’s best result in 41 TOUR events was a tie for 20th at the 2011 Children’s Miracle Network Classic.
Should he go on to win, Rocha would become the first player born outside of the United States to win in the 14-year history of the Reno-Tahoe Open. Rocha would also become the first player from Brazil to win on TOUR.