AUGUSTA -- Russell Henley said his brother Adam has shared memories of big moments through the years of players making memorable putts at the Masters.
So when Henley made a long birdie putt on the 16th hole Sunday, he sought out his brother in the crowd at Augusta National Golf Club.
Henley highlighted his final round with an eagle on No. 15 and a 32-footer for birdie on No. 16. He shot a 1-under-par 71 to end up the tournament at 3 under for his best finish in a major as a professional (21st).
“My brother has been watching this tournament for a long time,” Henley said. “He always tells me stories about Phil (Mickelson) and Tiger (Woods) making big putts and stuff. I made that long putt on (No.) 16, so I looked straight for him, and he was right there going crazy.
“It was so surreal to do that and be on the green and making that putt. It was special.”
Henley had five birdies and an eagle in the final round, along with four bogeys and a double-bogey.
That was really the story of his week as he ended up with 18 birdies and an eagle to go with 10 bogeys, two double-bogeys and a triple-bogey.
“It was good,” Henley said of the final round. “This course makes me feel stupid sometimes. It’s so hard around the greens. I definitely made a bunch of putts. I definitely made a couple of mistakes. But at the same time, these are the most difficult greens to putt on, so I’m not going to beat myself up too much.”
Henley is certainly not going to beat himself up for the stretch at Nos. 15 and 16. In fact, he was pleased with how he responded to a bogey on No. 13 (he also birdied No. 14).
“I’m proud of myself for my attitude because I didn’t feel very good over the ball, just how I was hitting it on the range,” Henley said. “Some shots I hit were uncharacteristic of the rest of the week, so I didn’t feel very good with the swing. But all things considered, to get around under par after being over par pretty late is pretty good.”
Henley has played 10 rounds at the Masters in his career, and five have finished at par or better. He missed the cut two years ago but finished tied for 31st last year.
He was 9 under on the par-5s this week, and playing well on those holes is typically key for players finishing in contention.
“It takes people longer than others sometimes to figure things out,” Henley said. “I definitely feel good going around this course, and I definitely feel I can compete. This definitely gives me confidence. It’s just a matter of cleaning up a few holes here and there. I think that’s just going to take some time with me.”
Henley plans to play this week in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, at the RBC Heritage and then play in the Match Play Championship (April 29-May 3) and the Players Championship (May 7-10).
“I just want to try to stay rested,” Henley said. “It’s a long year.”