Henley wins Honda Classic in four-way playoff

Sun Mar 2, 2014 7:39pm EST
 
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(Reuters) - American Russell Henley emerged as the last man standing to win his second PGA Tour title in a four-way playoff for the Honda Classic at Palm Beach Gardens in Florida on Sunday.

Henley, 24, birdied the first extra hole, the par-five 18th, from two feet in fading light to edge out Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy, American Ryan Palmer and Scotland's Russell Knox on a dramatic afternoon at PGA National.

McIlroy surrendered a big lead with an error-strewn 74 in the final round, though he made a birdie at the 72nd hole to qualify for the playoff after hitting a superb second shot to 11 feet, only to miss the eagle putt.

Henley (72), Palmer (69) and Knox (71) also made mistakes over the closing stretch to finish level with McIlroy at eight-under-par 272.

Henley sounded as if was still in shock as he spoke of his victory.

"I hope I can have a bunch more Sundays just like that in my career," he told Golf Channel. "It was a rush to be out there playing with Rory and the crowd.

"I've never been part of a crowd so big cheering for me. It was an amazing feeling. It was so much fun."

Henley appeared to have thrown away a chance of winning when he dunked his six-iron into the water at the par-three 15th for a double-bogey.

But he steadied his apparently sinking ship with pars on the final three holes, which was enough to make the playoff.   Continued...

 
Mar 2, 2014; Palm Beach Gardens, FL, USA; Russell Henly holds the trophy after winning The Honda Classic golf tournament at PGA National GC Champion Course won by. Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports