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Sony Open, Rookie Russell Rips Up the Record Books.

Smashing debut

Winning Rookie Russell Henley / Petersen/Getty Images

The Sony Open was won by rookie Russell Henley on his Tour debut, and doing so he ripped up the standing records for just about everything.

Russell  finished at -24 under par and a total score of 256, breaking by four shots the Sony Open in Hawaii scoring record, last set by Brad Faxon in 2001. Russell relegated Tim Clark into second place by three shots, Tim was himself on fire, he birdied seven of his last eleven holes and actually only made up one shot on Russell, the rookie from the University of Georgia.

Russell is now tied at the top the FedEx Cup standings in the company of Dustin Johnson on 500 points. The win was the second-lowest score for a 72-hole tournament in PGA TOUR history, two shots behind Tommy Armour III in 2003 at the Valero Texas Open. He also  set tournament records for the low 36-hole score after his 63-63 start, he shared the 54-hole record with Scott Langley and also set another tournament record with the lowest final round by a Champion.

Add to that he became the first PGA TOUR rookie to win his debut since Garrett Willis did at Tucson in 2001, and he will be going to the Masters in April, a local tournament for the boy from Macon, Georgia.

He said of his record breaking day that he had never been so nervous, you would not have imagined that watching him coming down the stretch on Sunday. He played the last nine holes superbly.

“I don’t really know what happened, honestly, 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.”

With the results  of his Web.com Tour season last year and this win Russell Henley has already made it into the world rankings inside the top fifty.  That ranking will get him into the Accenture-Match Play Championship for the top 64 in the world, the qualifying date is only a month away, and he should also be in line for the other WGC at the Cadillac Championship, and the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, not forgetting the PGA Championship. All in all quite a PGA TOUR debut, I look forward to watching Russell this season, it will be interesting to see how far he can go, he obviously has the talent.

 

The Champions Tour, Dick’s Sporting Goods Open

The Champions Tour hosted the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open at at En-Joie Golf Course in Endicott, and had a wonderful tournament, which required a play-off on Sunday to determine the winner. Willie Wood from Tennessee won the trophy in the one hole play-off after he and Michael Allen were tied at the end of the final round on -13 under par.

Dick's Sporting Goods Open: Final Round

Brad Faxon high fives Willie on sinking the putt that got him into the play-off/Casey Staff / Staff Photo

The field for this event included 57 of the top 60 players on the Champions Tour, notables were,  Tom Lehman, Brad Faxon, Joey Sindelar and Tom Watson. Tom was making his first appearance at En-Joie Golf Course since the 1976 B.C. Open, he said of this tournament;

” I just enjoyed the tournament and I’ve enjoyed it again this year. It’s a lot of fun; there’s a lot of good will, good community support. It’s a wonderful experience for me. I enjoy playing in tournaments like this.”

Dick’s Open tournament director John Karedes was all smiles at the conclusion of the exciting event, which included a little rain hiccup on Friday;

” Except for Mother Nature’s little challenge on Friday afternoon, everything went great. We had Willie Wood and Michael Allen in the playoff, and just behind them on the leaderboard was a who’s who of professional golf. And to hear someone like Tom Watson say that about the tournament, we certainly value that observation. He’s been all over the world, and he’s seen good and bad, and to have him say that is great.”

 

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