Date: January 14, 2013
Author: Omnisport

Henley claims Sony Open

A seven-under final round of 63 saw rookie Russell Henley win the Sony Open by three shots in his PGA Tour debut at Waialae Country Club, while The Australian contingent acquitted themselves well in the first regular-season event of 2013. American Henley, who played on the second-tier Tour last year, took out an elite level tournament at the first attempt, reaching 24-under overall for his four rounds. South African Tim Clark matched the 23-year-old&aposs final round of 63, but it was only good enough for outright second at 21 under after Henley&aposs blistering finish in Honolulu, Hawaii. Americans Charles Howell III and Scott Langley finished tied for third at 17 under. Henley and his fellow rookie Langley had shared the lead at the end of day three, but the latter could only manage an even-par final round of 70. It had appeared at one stage Henley might also slip out of contention after an indifferent front nine. He began in the right manner with a birdie at the 1st, but just one more followed at the 9th, and it arrived directly after a bogey-five on the 8th hole, as Henley reached the turn one under for the round. But another birdie at 10 set up the University of Georgia graduate for a strong finish, and he did not disappoint, sinking five successive birdies on the last five holes and coasting to victory. In a leaderboard dominated by domestic players, Americans Matt Kuchar, Brian Stuard and Chris Kirk finished tied for fifth at 16 under. The Australian contingent can be pleased with their efforts, with Marc Leishman finishing as the second-highest non-American in the field, tied ninth at 14 under. Scott Gardiner, playing in his first PGA Tour event, and Matt Jones earned a share of 15th at 12 under, with John Senden two shots back in a tie for 26th spot. Alistair Presnell, another Australian making his PGA Tour debut, finished tied 36th at eight under.