• Sony Open, Round Four

Henley imperious as he secures maiden victory

ESPN staff
January 14, 2013

Sony Open leaderboard

Russell Henley completed a remarkable week in Hawaii to claim his maiden PGA Tour title in impressive fashion at the Sony Open.

Henley, the 23-year-old making his first PGA Tour start as a professional, began the day in a share of the lead with fellow rookie Scott Langley but, while Langley failed to advance on Sunday, Henley continued his low scoring - firing another dominant round of 63 to win by three from South African Tim Clark.

"That's the most nervous I've ever been," Henley said afterwards. "I couldn't feel my legs or my arms. They were just numb and just moving fast and I felt like I couldn't control them.

"But I've been in that situation before, just not quite as dramatic."

With Langley falling back, it was left to Clark to provide the biggest challenge of the weekend - the 37-year-old finding birdies at the last four holes to set the clubhouse target at 21-under. But Henley was not to be overcome, as he picked up shots at his final five holes - started by a monster birdie putt at the 14th - to reach 24-under.

A three-time winner on the Web.com Tour, it was just the Georgia native's third start in a PGA Tour event.

"For me, it [the Web.com Tour] is everything," Henley said. "Not everybody needs the experience before they get out here, but for me it's probably the best thing for my golf game I've ever had to do.

"Learn to travel, learn what worked for me, learn how many practice rounds I need, depending on the course, learn how much sleep I need to get.

"I got used to the flow of a tournament, early-late, late-early, all those things are pretty big, and I learned at the very start, about the first 13 weeks, what didn't work."

Langley eventually finished in a tie for third alongside Charles Howell III, concluding at 17-under after a final round 70.

Matt Kuchar secured a top-five finish at 16-under, while reigning US Open champion Webb Simpson sneaked into the top-20 for the tournament thanks to a closing 66.

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