Golf roundup: Russell Henley converts big lead for fourth PGA Tour win

AP file photo by Matt York / Russell Henley, who played his college golf for the Georgia Bulldogs, entered the final round of the Worldwide Technology Championship at Mayakoba with a big lead and held steady Sunday for his fourth career win on the PGA Tour.

PLAYA DEL CARMEN, Mexico — Russell Henley finally made a bogey — two, actually — and that's about all that went wrong for him Sunday as he closed with a 1-under-par 70 for a four-shot victory in the World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba.

Henley, staked to a six-shot lead going into the final round on the El Camaleon course, had his advantage reduced to three when he missed a five-foot par putt on the par-5 fifth hole. He responded with three straight birdies, and no one got closer than four shots the rest of the way. He made pars on the back nine with the exception of the par-4 16th, and his bogey there was of no consequence.

The 33-year-old former University of Georgia standout and Peach State native won for the fourth time on the PGA Tour, but the first time since the Houston Open five years ago.

The previous five times Henley had at least a share of the 54-hole lead on the PGA Tour, he failed to convert the victory. The most recent was the Sony Open in January, when Hideki Matsuyama made up a two-shot deficit and beat him in a playoff.

"I just tried to learn from my past and my screwups," Henley said with a smile. "All those events I didn't close out, they hurt. You never know if you'll win another. To come down 18 with a four-shot lead was really cool."

Henley finished at 23-under 261 for 72 holes to tie the tournament record. He came into the final round as the only player who had not made a bogey all week.

Brian Harman closed with a 66 to finish alone in second behind his former Bulldogs teammate, while the group five shots behind included Masters champion Scottie Scheffler and Ireland's Seamus Power, who was coming off a victory the week before in Bermuda.

Scheffler lost the No. 1 spot in the Official World Golf Ranking he had held since March when Rory McIlroy won the CJ Cup in South Carolina two weeks ago. Scheffler closed with a 62 at Mayakoba, leaving him a good chance to regain the No. 1 ranking at the Houston Open, which starts Thursday. McIlroy is not playing again until the DP World Tour Championship, which is set for Nov. 17-20 in Dubai.

Power closed with a 68 to share third with Scheffler, Joel Dahmen (65), Will Gordon (69) and Troy Merritt (67), putting the 35-year-old Irishman atop the FedEx Cup standings and moving him to No. 29 in the world, his highest ranking ever.

Henley moved to No. 33 and is assured of returning to the Masters for the second time in a row after a three-year absence. Last time, he didn't secure a spot at Augusta National until moving into the top 50 a week before the year's first major.

Henley lost what had been three-shot leads through 54 holes at the Wyndham Championship in 2021 and the CJ Cup at Shadow Creek in 2020; the other times he was either tied or led by one or two shots. He entered Sunday in better shape on the leaderboard, but that didn't make it any easier in his mind.

"I don't sleep well on a lead. I need a lot more practice," Henley said. "I have no idea how Tiger (Woods) did this 80-some times. It's tough for me just to kind of calm down. You definitely don't feel the same as when you're practicing at home, but that's the fun of it. That's why we play.

"We want to see what we're made of out here and get tested under pressure."

Baylor School graduate Harris English, a Georgia teammate to Harman and Henley, closed with a 67 and shared 32nd at 12 under.


Langer does it again

BOCA RATON, Fla. — Bernhard Langer broke his own record as the oldest winner on the PGA Tour Champions with a 6-under 66 for a six-shot victory in the TimberTech Championship, leaving the 65-year-old German one triumph away from matching the senior circuit's record for career wins.

He started the final round with a one-shot lead, was caught briefly by Paul Goydos and then pulled away from the younger crowd — which, for Langer, means just about everyone.

The two-time Masters champion, who scored better than his age by two shots on Saturday when he took the lead, needed a birdie on the par-5 18th at Royal Palm Yacht and Country Club to shoot his age for the seventh time. He made par to finish the 54-hole event at 17-under 199, but that was plenty to stay ahead of Goydos (71), a 58-year-old American who shared second place with Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee (67).

Langer now has 44 career victories on the 50-and-older tour, one away from tying the record Hale Irwin set from 1995 to 2007. Irwin won his last title at age 61.

"I'm getting closer and closer," Langer said. "I'm also getting older and older, so the clock is ticking and I might have another two or three years where I could win. But I'm already the oldest, and I broke that record again this week."

Langer, who earlier this year won the Chubb Classic, has 11 victories since turning 60. He has won at least once in his 16 years on the PGA Tour Champions.


LPGA: Dryburgh's first

SHIGA, Japan — Gemma Dryburgh closed with a 7-under 65 for a four-stroke win in the Toto Japan Classic, the first LPGA Tour victory for the 29-year-old.

The runner-up was Kana Nagai, who also closed with a 65 and was one stroke ahead of Linn Grant (67).

Dryburgh finished at 20-under 268 after starting the final round at Seta Golf Club a shot behind Momoko Ueda, a two-time winner of the event who led after the second and third rounds this year.

Dryburgh did not drop a shot Sunday and made birdies on four of her last six holes. She's the first Scottish player to win on the LPGA Tour since Catriona Matthew in 2011 at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational.

"I was in Korea last week with friends, and I said to them, 'I'll mention you in my speech,'" she said. "Just as a joke. It's overwhelming to be honest. This is a dream of mine for a long time."

Among the top nine finishers, Dryburgh and Sweden's Grant were the only ones not playing under the Japanese flag. Yuna Nishmura (69) was fourth at 13 under, and Ueda (74) was a stroke further back alongside Ayake Furue (69) and Miyu Yamashita (72).