AUGUSTA – Staying true to his game plan, Russell Henley didn’t let the worst hole of his two rounds so far at this year’s Masters knock him out of the tournament.
After a triple-bogey on the par-4 10th hole Friday, Henley recovered to play the final eight holes in 2 under. His 2-over-par 74 leaves him at 2-under 142 after two rounds and earned his second straight made cut at Augusta National Golf Club.
“I feel good about my game. I just didn’t let it bother me,” Henley said. “It’s unfortunate to make such a big number out here, but this is such a tough course, and that was just a mental mistake. This place will mess with your mind sometimes and make you think you have to hit shots you don’t. That was one of those cases right there.
“But I feel great about my game. I had fun, and I’m enjoying the challenge.”
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Henley hit his tee shot on the 10th left into the trees. It took him two shots to get out of the trees, and that led to the triple-bogey.
But Henley steadied himself with four straight pars. Then he birdied the par-5 15th with a terrific wedge on his third shot and a nice birdie putt.
“I hit a great drive, and I just felt like I was in between numbers there,” Henley said of the decision to not go for the green in two. “Normally I would have just hit it there, but I felt good about my wedges this week. And it felt really good to make that one after laying up.”
He backed that up with another birdie on No. 17 and just missed a birdie putt on the final hole.
“I hit it on the left side, and I was blocked out by some trees,” Henley said of the 17th. “So I had to just hook a pitching wedge around the trees, and I was able to make that putt.
“It was great to hang in there and make some birdies coming home.”
Henley had three bogeys on the front nine – on the first, fourth and sixth holes. He also had two birdies on the front – on the second and eighth holes.
The former Stratford and Georgia standout continued his streak of making the cut in every tournament he has entered this season.
“It’s been consistent. I have had a couple of high rounds, but I’m learning a lot,” Henley said. “I’m starting to have fun again playing with a different perspective.”
He will look to keep that focus going in Saturday’s third round.
“I have to see how the course is playing,” Henley said. “Last year on Saturday, it was playing really hard, and if it will be like that Saturday, the scoring averages will be high. And if it gets breezy, that’s going to change things.
“I just have to stick to my targets and keep making good decisions.”