A pair of 23-year-old PGA Tour rookies, playing in their first event as full-fledged members of the PGA Tour, schooled their elders at the first full-field event of the 2013 PGA Tour season.
Russell Henley and Scott Langley traded the lead the first two days in the Sony Open at Waialae – first Langley, then Henley – then shared it on Saturday, when they finished the day three strokes ahead of their nearest pursuer, South African Tim Clark.
Sunday’s final round saw Langley slip back with a 70 after rounds of 62, 66, and 65; meanwhile, Henley pushed his foot down, carding five consecutive birdies to close the round with his third 63 of the tournament – 63, 63, 67, 63 – to finish three strokes ahead of Clark.
Henley’s final tally of 256 set a tournament scoring record, and established him as the tournament’s youngest winner, eclipsing the mark set when 24-year-old Ben Crenshaw took the win in 1976. With the win Henley became the first PGA Tour rookie to win his debut event since Garrett Willis at the 2001 Tucson Open.
In Northern California-related news from the event, Derek Ernst, of Clovis, and James Hahn, of Alameda, finished in the money in their debuts as card-carrying PGA Tour members, at T-59 and T-67, respectively.