Russell Henley on first round

dshirley@macon.comApril 11, 2013 

Q.  Routine par there on 18?

            RUSSELL HENLEY:  Yeah.  Yeah.  I could barely see it go in.  It was a good one.

            I hit it in the trees and I just told myself, kept telling myself over and over, "I really want to make par.  I want to make par."  I kept trying to think positive.

            And then right before I walked up to my putt, I said, "I want to make this putt."  And just tried to reinforce some positive thoughts.  And when I do that, it seems like more things happen good than not.

 

            Q.  How far would you say that putt was?

            RUSSELL HENLEY:  It was a long way.  And it was probably 40, 50 feet, I guess.  I don't know.  It was from the bottom to the top, back left.

 

            Q.  You kind of started slow.

            RUSSELL HENLEY:  I was a little nervy on the start.  I walked on the tee and just got chills.  Everybody clapping, it just kind of hit me all of a sudden that I'm here.

            It brought back memories of standing outside the ropes looking in and guys getting announced.  And I was just like, I'm the one inside now and I made it and it felt really good.  And I had to fight off a few tears, but I did, and I was ready to go.

 

            Q.  The par on number 3.  Was that kind of the stabilizer for you?

            RUSSELL HENLEY:  Yeah, that felt good.  I short sided myself again, twice in the first three holes, and to get up‑and‑down there was nice.  It felt good to roll it in the middle.  A tough little 3‑footer there.

 

            Q.  How big was that birdie on 15 after hitting it in the trees?

            RUSSELL HENLEY:  It was a lucky break.  I hit an awful punch out and got lucky.  I'll take all the breaks I can get.

            But in terms of my game, I hit a lot of great shots and didn't get some of those for birdie today.  And I hit a ‑‑ I'm hitting the ball great, so I feel great about my game and I feel like that's probably what I should have shot today was 72.  So I did get lucky on a few, but I felt pretty good about it.

 

            Q.  Was it a nervous night or did it just hit you?

            RUSSELL HENLEY:  It wasn't that nervous a night.  I slept pretty well.  I woke up a couple times because I usually wake up a few times when I'm ‑‑ right before the start.  But it was pretty good.

            When I walked on the tee though ‑‑ I was relaxed on the range, but when I walked on the tee it was pretty special.

 

            Q.  Larry Mize give you any good advice today?

            RUSSELL HENLEY:  No, he was really great.  He was very positive.  He was rooting me on and it was nice.

 

            Q.  What's your feeling now?  Are you exhausted and want to go take a nap or adrenaline rush and you want to go out and play 18 more?

            RUSSELL HENLEY:  I'm excited.  I just saw a bunch of friends that I just realized were here.  They showed up without telling me they were coming and I'm going to go say hey to them.

            But I'm excited, the adrenaline's kind of gone away and I'm ready to get back out there tomorrow.

 

            Q.  How do you feel about the way you putted today?  Seemed like you hit some good ones, like the last one there, and then you lipped a few out.

            RUSSELL HENLEY:  I tell you what, first hole I felt like I hit a really good 40 foot putt just right up there to about a foot to save bogey.  And that's a really tough pin that back left.  Especially on the first hole you ever played in the Masters.

            So I hit a really great putt on the first hole and the whole day I felt pretty good about my putting.  I definitely didn't hit some very good putts in the middle of the round, but towards the end I felt like I was at least putting a good stroke on it.

 

            Q.  Where did your tee ball go off of 1?

            RUSSELL HENLEY:  In the right bunker.  Peter told me that's where he hit his ball and when it started to leak that way I was like, "Damn it, Peter, you shouldn't have told me that."

 

            Q.  Did you see him out on the course?

            RUSSELL HENLEY:  I did.  I saw him on like 14.  And then he just looked back and he looked proud and he ‑‑ but he shouldn't have shared that with me.

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