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Eagle lands for Henley


NORTH CAROLINA (AFP) — Russell Henley had six birdies and an eagle in an eight-under par 62 on Thursday to grab the first-round lead at the Wyndham Championship, where Adam Scott started strong in his bid to earn a PGA Tour playoffs berth.

Henley, who admits the memory of his 2021 Wyndham defeat still stings, put himself in position to challenge again with a solid effort at rainy Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, North Carolina.

He took advantage of an afternoon tee time that let him play much of his round after the showers let up, taking the lead with an eagle at the par-five 15th, where his 227-yard second shot left him a six-foot putt.

“I was just kind of hoping (the rain) would slow down a little bit,” Henley said. “And it did on the back nine, so we were fortunate. I hit a lot of fairways and felt like from there I could attack the golf course.”

He added his sixth birdie at the 17th and had a one-stroke lead over Canadian Adam Svensson and South Korean An Byeong-hun.

Henley has a string of top-10 finishes at Sedgefield including a tie for fifth last year.

The one he remembers, however, is a share of seventh in 2021, when he led most of the week but finished a stroke out of the six-man playoff won by Kevin Kisner and was tied for seventh.

“I think about it a lot,” he said. “I was leading by three going in the final round a couple years ago, and was leading the tournament by a few going into No. 11 on the last day and didn’t get it done.”

Svensson had seven birdies without a bogey, including three in his last four holes while An shook off an opening bogey with eight birdies the rest of the way.

American Andrew Novak was alone on 64 while Australia’s Scott shared fifth on five-under 65 with American J.T. Poston.

Scott had seven birdies and two bogeys in the morning rain to take the early clubhouse lead.

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