Russell Henley: Nationwide Tour ‘Graduate’

by Jeff Skinner

The player having the biggest week in professional golf this week won’t be cashing a check.  Amateur and University of Georgia senior, Russell Henley managed a rare feat: he became only the second amateur to win on the Nationwide Tour as he bettered the field at The Stadion Classic at UGA.  Henley was playing his home course on a sponsor’s exemption and he certainly made the most of it.

The three time All-American has plenty of game.  He was the low amateur at last year’s U.S. Open at Pebble Beach.  He was thrilled to hang on for the win but admitted to being a bit nervous out there.  “I can’t even feel my arms,” said the three-time All-America. “I was nervous all day. I don’t know how long it will take to sink in, eight months, nine months, a couple days, I don’t know, I’ve never done this before.”

Henley’s played with a positive attitude all week.  “Everyone was asking me about making the cut this week but I’ve been telling people I was playing to win,” said Henley.  “You play a lot of golf tournaments that you don’t win but just because I’m an amateur doesn’t mean I can’t win.”  He’s in no hurry to turn professional and plans to play a full amateur schedule this summer.  As for his celebration this week, he’ll be graduating on Friday.  That’s one heck of a week.


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