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Henley becomes second amateur to win on Nationwide Tour



Athens, GA (Sports Network) - Russell Henley shot a three-under 68 on Sunday to win the Stadion Classic, becoming the second amateur in Nationwide Tour history to win an event.

Henley, a senior at the University of Georgia, finished at 12-under 272 at his home course -- the University of Georgia Golf Club. He co-led the tournament after three rounds and began Sunday's play with a bogey, but was flawless the rest of the way with four birdies to win the tournament rather comfortably.

"I just tried to stay focused on one shot at a time. I think I did a pretty good job," Henley said in a televised interview.

The 22-year-old Henley joins Daniel Summerhays as the only amateur winners on tour after Summerhays won the 2007 Nationwide Children's Hospital Invitational.

Troy Kelly managed only a one-under 70 on Sunday to finish in second, two shots behind Henley at minus-10. Kelly, who was tied for the lead heading into the final round, is still winless on the Nationwide Tour.

Will Wilcox (67) and Matt Hendrix (70) shared third at nine-under 275, while Matt Davidson (67), Brad Elder (67), Bubba Dickerson (68) and Danny Lee (68) finished in a tie for fifth at minus-eight.

Henley slipped to the bogey to start play on Sunday, giving Kelly an early lead. After both players birdied the second, Henley's birdie at four coupled with Kelly's bogey at the same hole gave the amateur his first outright lead of the day.

Both players birdied the sixth, as Henley maintained a one-stroke lead at minus-11, but Kelly joined him with a birdie at the seventh.

Henley moved back ahead when Kelly bogeyed the ninth hole, and Kelly made it back-to-back bogeys at the 10th to fall two back. Danny Lee temporarily got within one stroke of the lead after a birdie at 12, but bogeys at 14 and 16 put him out of contention.

Henley parred eight straight holes after the sixth, but maintained the lead throughout. Kelly birdied the 12th to move back within a stroke, and Hendrix's birdie at 14 got him within one, as well.

With the pressure squarely on the amateur's shoulders, Henley created a two- shot gap with a birdie at the 15th. It proved to be the decisive blow, as Kelly bogeyed 16 and Hendrix bogeyed 17. Henley parred the last three holes to take the title by two.

When asked about the temptation to turn professional, Henley, who shared low amateur honors at the 2010 U.S. Open, deflected it and said he is likely going to remain an amateur.

"I have a lot of goals this summer that I want to do with amateur golf," Henley said on TV. "It is tempting (to turn pro) and I'm definitely going to talk to my family and golf coach, but I'm pretty sure I'm just going to stay an amateur."

NOTES: Henley had one bogey on the back nine combined through the tournament's four rounds...This was only the seventh top-five finish by an amateur on the Nationwide Tour. It was Henley's third career tour event...After a week off, the Nationwide Tour will return to action at the BMW Charity Pro-Am, where Justin Hicks won by two strokes over four players.

05/08 19:36:02 ET


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