January 15, 2022
Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
Waialae Country Club
Q. Seemed like a bit more of a battle out there today, but you held it together pretty well and you're keeping yourself in the lead for tomorrow.
RUSSELL HENLEY: Yeah, I figured it wouldn't be quite as easy as the first two days. It's just not how golf works typically. I wasn't planning on making bogeys, but definitely wasn't expecting to shoot 8-under again.
But at the same time I felt really good about my game all day. I never really got too nervous or too ahead of myself. I feel like I stayed in every shot, one shot at a time, and had really good focus the whole day.
I'm please, and just tried to do the best I could.
Q. It's an interesting dynamic when you've got a two- or three-shot lead, because it's not huge where you're expected to win and it's not bad either; you got a couple shots up front. How is it sleeping through all that?
RUSSELL HENLEY: Yeah, it's tough. I've slept on a few leads the last couple years. It's hard. I struggle to sleep. I'm already not the best sleeper.
But, yeah, I mean, the thing is you look at what the Hideki did today, he shot 7-under. Guys are so good out here. You just have to play at such a high level for so long to be in contention.
So hopefully I can keep doing that and play well tomorrow, give myself a chance on the back nine.
Q. Will you be watching boards given it's a course where someone can theoretically go low, or will you just try and stay in your own zone and get your own job done?
RUSSELL HENLEY: I think it depends on how I'm feeling, how things are going. If I have a really poor front nine I might look; if I'm playing really well I might just keep doing what I'm doing, and then definitely taking a look maybe middle of the back nine.
But that's just so far away. I mean, I don't really have a specific game plan for this. Doesn't happen that much. Usually we're all just grinding to make the cut and sneak in a top 25.
I'm just really trying to stay patient, stay focused on one shot at a time.
Q. For all the talk of being somewhat uncomfortable sleeping on the lead, you're obviously a winner multiple times. Will you take some of that experience into tomorrow, too?
RUSSELL HENLEY: Yeah, I mean, I hope. Gosh, my first two wins were my first two years on tour and this is my tenth season, so got to remember back a few years for those.
But I definitely believe I can do it. But, you know, it's sure hard to do. Just going to do my best.
Q. You been knocking on the door recently many times.
RUSSELL HENLEY: I have. I've had some tough finishes, tough to swallow. Yeah, it's a tough game.
Q. How do you feel about the way you closed the round today? You got a couple of birdies to get the distance, and then obviously the last hole, par on 18.
RUSSELL HENLEY: Yeah, I mean, really making par on 13 was huge. Felt pretty good over the tee shot and missed the ball off the left of the fairway, which is what you're supposed to do in my opinion on that hole to give myself a chance to go to the green, but they have grown the rough up thicker this year and kind of had funky lie that I didn't judge correctly and had a nice five- or six-footer for bogey.
It was like, Okay, that was a nice save instead of making double. Yeah, that was good. Had some nice holed putts down the stretch. I'm really thankful and happy with how I putted.
Q. Yeah. On then on 18, I think after the drive, was the mindset there closing, were you just kind of at that point get par and get out of there?
RUSSELL HENLEY: No. I was trying to lay it up more to like a wedge distance so I could attack that pin. I just misjudged my lie in the rough tremendously. I hit it really poorly and laid it way back of where I wanted to.
Yeah, that was not planned. I was trying to just stay aggressive.
Q. Ten Georgia players in this tournament; they all made the cut. Talk about how fun it is to have everyone together doing well at this tournament.
RUSSELL HENLEY: Yeah, I mean, a lot of good golfers from Georgia. All the guys are so easy to hang out with and so it's great. I mean, it's great to have so many guys from Georgia on tour. Hopefully be more in the coming years.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports