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Charting Russell Henley's Rise to PGA Stardom | News

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Charting Russell Henley's Rise to PGA Stardom
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Russell Henley, a 2007 graduate of Stratford Academy in Macon, made his PGA Tour debut this weekend and netted his first PGA victory at the same time. It was the first time in 10 years a rookie won on his first time out.

PHOTO GALLERY | Macon's Henley Wins the PGA Debut at Sony Open in Hawaii

For midstate golf fans, watching Henley's success has long been a hobby and the same is true for the 13WMAZ sports team, which has covered him since he was an amateur.

Here are a few of the stories and interviews we've done as we followed Henley's rise through the amateur ranks to the pros.

Of course, this weekend's win isn't the first time Henley has been linked to breaking records.

13WMAZ was an eyewitness to Henley's victory in the 2008 Georgia Amateur Championship on his home turf at Macon's Idle Hour golf course when he set the scoring record for state amateurs with a 270 mark.

After Henley finished in the Top 20 at the U.S. Open, Mayor Robert Reichert declared Wednesday, August 4, 2010, "Russell Henley Day" in Macon. 

OCTOBER 2010 | Henley Wins 2nd Straight Brickyard Collegiate

As the reigning SEC Golfer of the Year in October 2010, the then-Georgia senior birdied the 1st and 7th holes and chipped in an eagle on the 12th hole to take his second Brickyard Collegiate.

MAY 2011 | Henley Makes History at the Stadion Classic

He made history as only the second amateur to win on the Nationwide Tour when he took home the trophy at the Stadion Classic.

JUNE 2011 | Henley Earns Fourth All-American Honors

Henley capped his career at the University of Georgia as a four-time All-American. With teammates Harris English and Hudson Swafford, helped led UGA to a second place finish in the NCAA Championships.

Shortly after his collegiate career ended, Henley was at his second U.S. Open, following up a stellar Top 20 finish in his first turn. He even managed to work in a few practice rounds with the likes of Davis Love III, Lucas Glover, and Jim Furyk.

 

FEBRUARY 2012 | Henley Begins First Nationwide Season

Henley officially began his professional golf career February 16th, as the 2012 Nationwide Tour season kicked off in Colombia.

His first professional appearance came courtesy of a sponsor exemption in September 2011 at the Nationwide Soboba Golf Classic in California.

NOVEMBER 2011 | Henley Tees Off at 'Q School'

By the middle of November 2011, Henley was taking on the "Good," "Bad," and "Ugly" courses at the Qualifying School. After the first round, he shot a 76. He fared better after the second round, with a 73.

SEPTEMBER 2012 | Henley Wins Chiquita Classic in Playoff

OCTOBER 2012 | Henley Wins Jacksonville Open in Playoff

Just before the Sony Open, Henley was considered a "Rookie to Watch" because of the way he ended his 2012 season, claiming four straight Top Ten finishes.

And of course, this weekend, he took first place with a rookie record in his debut appearance on the PGA tour.

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