The Union Recorder

Local Sports

January 14, 2013

Henley gets PGA Tour career off to record start

(Continued)

HONOLULU —

"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."

He then acknowledged his parents and his girlfriend, watching from home. Henley spent his first week as a tour member on his own, and that's about how he looked on Sunday at Waialae Country Club. No one was particularly close to him.

Clark, finally feeling healthy after a mysterious elbow injury after his runner-up finish at the Sony Open in 2011, shot 63. Charles Howell III closed with a 66 to tie for third with Langley, who birdied his last two holes for a 70.

"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. "But Russell played so awesome. I don't even know if I could have caught him."

Henley only looked to be in big trouble when he hooked his tee shot well left on the 16th, flirting with out of bounds.

No problem. He hammered a pitching wedge from 160 yards over a large tree and a row of royal pines to 12 feet and turned trouble into a birdie.

On the strength of his Web.com season last year — two wins and No. 3 on the money list — the win allowed Henley to crack the top 50 in the world ranking.

That should be enough to get him into the Match Play Championship for the top 64 in the world, with the qualifying date only a month away, and he should be set for the other WGC at Doral. The win qualifies him for Firestone in August, along with the PGA Championship.

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