HONOLULU — PGA Tour rookies Russell Henley and Scott Langley will play one more round together at the Sony Open, this time with a trophy and a Masters Tournament invitation at stake.
Henley two-putted from 30 feet for birdie on the last hole for 3-under-par 67. That gave him a share of the lead with Langley, who had 65.
They set the tournament scoring record through 54 holes at 17-under 193 and had a three-shot lead over Tim Clark.
Henley and Langley each have a chance to become the first rookies to win in their PGA Tour debut since Garrett Willis at the 2001 Tucson Open.
Clark made birdie on the 18th hole for 66. Otherwise, the final group would have had three rookies. Scott Gardiner was another shot back.
Henley still remembers the celebration after getting his card, even though the party had been in the works for more than a month.
His family was with him when he finished the Web.com Tour season at No. 3 on the money list to earn a spot in the big leagues.
“It was just kind of like, ‘Wow! I just got my PGA Tour card.’ You hope eventually one day you’ll make it out here,” Henley said Friday.
He showed up at the Sony Open without any expectations except to play the same way he did on the Web.com Tour, where he won three times in two years, one of them while still in school at Georgia. His goal was to use this year to learn and improve.
And after three days?
The first tournament can be an awkward time for the rookies. They don’t know a lot of the older players. Henley, for example, went into the dining room earlier this week and saw an older player sitting by himself. He didn’t join him because he simply didn’t know his habits – maybe he preferred eating by himself.
This is not a time to make introductions, rather to sit back and soak it all in.
On the golf course, it’s a different story.
There’s a comfort level, and it showed.