Russell Henley has played golf in Australia, the United Kingdom, Japan, Colombia, Mexico, Panama, Chile and in much of the continental United States.
The Macon native never has been to Hawaii, however, prior to this week.
The former Stratford and Georgia standout will try to make his first trip a memorable one when he makes his debut on the PGA Tour on Thursday in the Sony Open at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu.
He tees off his first round at 6 p.m.
There are some nerves, Henley said Sunday after landing in Hawaii. This is what I want to do for a living, but its kind of crazy that its happening. I know I belong out here, but its still weird thinking Ill be playing with the guys Ive watched on television for years.
Henley makes his PGA Tour debut after finishing third on the Web.com Tour in 2012. The 23-year-old overcame a rough start to his professional career and finished the season as the hottest golfer on that tour.
He overcame some rough lows that were highlighted by a withdrawal from a tournament in July in Indiana. Prior to that event, he missed the cut in three of his previous five tournaments. He missed six cuts in his first 12 tournaments last season.
I think I got to a time where I was lost mentally and physically, Henley said. I was fortunate that I went through that last year, so I know how to react when things dont go the way you want them to.
Henley shook off the struggles almost immediately, earning his first top-10 finish of the season in Utah in the first tournament following the withdrawal. He missed just two cuts in his final 13 events, posting seven top 10s and four top-three finishes.
He won twice in his final four starts and finished in the top six in the other two. His win at the Chiquita Classic in late September outside of Charlotte, N.C., locked up his PGA Tour card for this year, and he followed that with a win at the Winn-Dixie Jacksonville Open less than a month later.
I dont feel like the season ended too long ago, Henley said. I think the confidence I had (at the end of the season) is there. I know what works and what doesnt. I have a plan. It just goes back to knowing myself a little better.
Henley said hes signed up for the first six tournaments of the PGA Tour season, taking him from Hawaii to California and Arizona. Hell get a chance to play at a familiar location in February when he travels to Pebble Beach, Calif., site of his 16th-place finish in the 2010 U.S. Open. After a week off for the WCG-Accenture Match Play Championship in late February, Henley is scheduled to play in two more events. He said hell sit down with his agent and evaluate his schedule going forward after that.
You better not go into these tournaments just trying to make the cut, Henley said. Im excited about the opportunity; I have a good nervous. I get a rush off being in the hunt, so hopefully I get that feeling some this season.