Web.com grad Henley wastes no time winning on PGA TOUR

Stan Badz/PGA TOUR
Henley was the ninth player to make the Sony Open his first PGA TOUR win.
January 14, 2013

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- Followers of the Web.com Tour were well aware of Russell Henley’s skills and potential prior to his PGA TOUR debut last week.  By the end of the week, the rest of the golf world was too when he won the Sony Open in Hawaii in convincing style, capping things off with birdies on the last five holes.

The 23-year-old Henley grew up in Macon, Ga. and graduated from the University of Georgia in 2011.  After a slow start on the Web.com Tour last year (first top 10 didn’t come until his 14th event in July; only one top 25 during the same stretch – a T23), he closed the year strong with wins in September (Chiquita Classic) and October (Winn-Dixie Jacksonville Open) to finish third on the money list and grab his 2013 PGA TOUR card.

“I feel I picked up right where I left off with the Web.com Tour season and carried over my confidence, and here I am,” Henley said after his victory.

Putting things in perspective, he added, “That’s the one thing I’ll take from this year is just because I won now doesn’t really mean anything going forward.  I get a lot of confidence and learn about myself, but I’ve still got to tee it up every week, and there’s tons of golf to play.”

Below are the many things Henley achieved with his Sony Open in Hawaii win:

Russell Henley (24-under 256)

  • Shot 24-under-par 256.
  • With his victory at the 2013 Sony Open in Hawaii, Russell Henley earns 500 FedExCup points and moves into a first-place tie with last week’s champion Dustin Johnson.
  • He wins his first PGA TOUR victory at age 23 years, 9 months and 1 day in just his third official start. He had two as an amateur.
  • With his win, he becomes the first rookie to win in his first start as an official member of the PGA TOUR since Garrett Willis at the 2001 Touchstone Energy Tucson Open. The last rookie to win a TOUR event was Charlie Beljan at the 2012 Children’s Miracle Network Classic.
  • He also earns the winner’s share of $1,008,000 and becomes the ninth player to make this event his first PGA TOUR win. Others who won their first event here were Ted Makalena (1966), Grier Jones (1972), John Schlee (1973), Gary Groh (1975), Isao Aoki (1983), David Ishii (1990), John Morse (1995) and Jerry Kelly (2002).
  • His 72-hole numerical total of 256 broke the tournament scoring mark of 260 set by John Huston in 1998 and matched by Brad Faxon in 2001.
  • Henley’s 256 is the third-lowest 72-hole total (tie with Mark Calcavecchia/2001 Phoenix Open). Tommy Armour III posted a total of 254 (26-under) at the 2003 Valero Texas Open, while Steve Stricker posted a 255 at the 2009 Bob Hope Classic.
  • He becomes the eighth former University of Georgia player to win a PGA TOUR event, joining Chip Beck, Bill Kratzert, Bubba Watson, Chris Kirk, Tim Simpson, Peter Persons and Ryuji Imada.
  • Earlier this week, Henley set a Sony Open in Hawaii record for the best first 36-hole score in event history at 14-under-par 126. It broke the record of 12-under-par 128 set in 1994 by Davis Love III and matched by John Huston (1998), Paul Azinger (2000), Brad Faxon (2001) and John Cook (2002).
  • He is the fifth consecutive winner of the Sony Open in Hawaii to post four straight rounds in the 60s.
  • Finished the week second in Greens in Regulation, hitting 60 of 72 (83.33%).
  • The last player to win the Sony Open in his first attempt was Bruce Lietzke (1977).
  • Henley became the second-ever amateur to ever win on the Web.com Tour when he captured the 2011 Stadion Classic at UGA one week before graduating from the University of Georgia. He won seven times during his college career at Georgia, tying the school's all-time record set by Chris Kirk.
  • Henley was one of five two-time winners on the Web.com Tour in 2012, finishing No. 3 on the official money list.