Russell Henley Survives Bloody Honda Classic

by Jeff Skinner

Over and over we hear how hard it is to win on the PGA Tour and today was proof of that, excruciating proof.   We saw player after player hit poor shot after poor shot at PGA National with Russell Henley hanging on to win the Honda Classic in a four man playoff.

Henley was the last man standing after a quartet of golfers spilled more blood on the ground than the  warriors in Braveheart.  Henley, Ryan Palmer,  Russell Knox and third round leader Rory McIlroy all faltered down the stretch.  Faltered, that’s like saying the Titanic had a small leak.  The four of them gave new meaning to the phrases, “Throw up on yourself” or “succumb to the pressure”.russell Henley honda

It was a nasty finish as all four of the playoff participants dropped shots on the back nine.  None more so than Rory who doubled sixteen and bogeyed seventeen.  Even with that spilled blood Rory still had a chance to salvage a win with the shot of the day.

He was at seven under par, one off the lead and sitting 245 yards from the eighteenth green on the 72nd hole.  He crushed a high flying five wood onto the green and the ball settled fifteen feet from the hole.  Rors fist pumped with joy as he had earned a putt for an winning eagle.  It would have been the comeback of the year had the eagle putt fallen but it slid by and his birdie left him in the four nab playoff. 

In the playoff Henley was the only player to hit the green in regulation and his two putt birdie made him the last man standing in a war of attrition.   For the 24 year old Henley it’s his second PGA Tour win and he joins Rory, Patrick Reed, and Harris English as players under 25 with multiple tour wins.  Click here for Doug Ferguson’s game story.


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