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Rookie Russell Henley announces PGA Tour arrival with maiden victory at Sony Open

Updated: Monday, 14 Jan 2013 07:58 | Comments

Henley announces PGA arrival with maiden victory

Rookie Russell Henley won the Sony Open in Hawaii in what was his first event on the PGA Tour.

The 23-year-old carded his third 63 of the week to set a tournament scoring record, and a rookie record for the lowest 72-hole total in PGA Tour history.

Finishing 24 under par, Henley birdied the final five to finish seven under for the round and three shots clear of Tim Clark in second place to ensure his PGA Tour card for the next year as well as spots at the Masters and PGA Championship.

Henley was dominant from start to finish at Waialae, where he played the par fours in 17 under and at one point went 50 holes without a bogey.

Henley - who yesterday became the first player to reach 17 under par after 54 holes on the course - made the ideal start after he birdied the first, but he picked up his first bogey of the tournament on the par four eighth, as he moved back to his overnight score.

Undeterred, Henley picked up under par scores on nine and 10 before his stunning finish saw off the challenge of Clark who himself finished strongly.

The South African picked up birdies on the last four holes to finish on 21 under par after a final round of 63, registering eight birdies and a bogey.

Charles Howell III finished third thanks in part to an eagle on the par three ninth, which was the backbone of a solid round of 66.

Howell didn't drop a shot in the final round, as birdies at five and 15 saw him to an overall score of 17 under par.

Scott Langley faded out of contention with a poor back nine. the 23-year-old was just two shots off the lead after the 11th hole, but bogeys on the par four, 13, 15 and 16 cost the rookie any hope he had of picking up a tour win on his first appearance.

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