June 7, 2011
ATHENS, Ga. --- Despite having to work overtime, Russell Henley is headed back to the U.S. Open.
On Monday at Hawk's Ridge Golf Club in Ball Ground, Ga., Henley -- whose Georgia career ended Sunday at the NCAA Championships -- needed 40 holes of golf to secure the third and final qualifying spot from the section qualifier.
Former Bulldog Christo Greyling also qualified for the U.S. Open as he shot 136 to grab one of the 10 spots at Woodmont Country Club in Rockville, Md.
The U.S. Open will be played at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md., June 16-19. Henley came in 16th at the 2010 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. He also finished as the low amateur.
“I’m really excited to get back to another U.S. Open,” Henley said. “It was an emotional day, but it feels good to get back.”
On Monday, just hours after flying back from Stillwater, Okla., where he led Georgia to a runner-up finish at the NCAAs, Henley played 36 holes and then logged four more against Jason Dufner. On what turned out to be the final sudden-death hole, Henley made a birdie after Dufner hit his second shot on the par-5 into the water. Henley played 40 holes in almost 12 hours to advance.
“You start to rest, and then you find out it’s not over," Henley said. "You have to refocus fast. It’s tough to do.”
Also at Hawk's Ridge, ex-Bulldog Hudson Swafford shot 141 and current Bulldogs Michael Cromie and Brian Carter shot 142 and 147, respectively. Ex-Bulldog Paul Claxton shot 140 at Woodmont. At Brookside Country Club in Columbus, Ohio, ex-Bulldog Brian Harman shot 142, five shots back.