January 15 2013
By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
Macon, Ga., is about 4,500 miles from Honolulu, Hawaii, but the vibe in Russell Henley's hometown school was absolutely tropical on Tuesday.
After Henley won the Sony Open in Hawaii in his first start as a professional on the PGA TOUR, his former high school, Stratford Academy in Macon, celebrated his win with a Hawaiian theme on Tuesday.
Students and teachers at the high school and middle school level wore Hawaiian shirts, with the theme extending into the night during the school's basketball game against Brentwood.
"The energy here today has been amazing," said Jaime Kaplan, the school's alumni director and tennis coach. "So many people here know Russell. Everybody knows everybody here."
In addition to wearing Hawaiian shirts, Kaplan also handed out 350 leis.
"I cornered the market at Party City," she said.
Even the school's headmaster, Dr. Robert Veto, wore a Hawaiian shirt and lei. Kaplan said a couple of local television stations visited the school to produce reports about Russell Henley Day.
Henley's father, Chapin, also visited the school and walked around for an hour, enjoying the buzz caused by his son's impressive breakthrough win.
No doubt Henley, who is playing in this week's Humana Challenge in partnership with the Clinton Foundation, will get a full report from his father about the celebration back home.
Photo below: The Stratford Academy golf team celebrates Henley's Sony Open win