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April 9, 2024

Russell Henley

Augusta, Georgia, USA

Quick Quotes


Q. Russell, if you could talk about the experience of being here once again and the preparation.

RUSSELL HENLEY: Yeah, being here, it's awesome. I grew up coming to this tournament with some really close friends of mine. They got me tickets. Been here a lot growing up. I've always dreamed of being in the tournament. It's hard to believe I've played this many so far.

I'm feeling more and more comfortable here. I'm excited to play. I love the course and the prep. You ask about the prep, there's so many fun short game shots around this place that you can kind of just be creative, hit them a lot of different ways, and the lies are perfect. The greens are perfect, lots of big slopes. You just get to use your imagination.

I just enjoy it. I enjoy that course management kind of how am I going to play each shot, each hole, and it's a challenge.

Q. You tied for fourth last year. How do you look to repeat that kind of performance and have a chance when it comes down to the end?

RUSSELL HENLEY: Yeah, just play my game. I don't know what this weather is going to bring in, if it's going to bring in a ton of rain and make it really long, but just try to play my game and attack when I can attack and try to hit it on the correct side of the hole.

That's the important thing out here. If you don't hit it close, make sure you can still save par.

Q. I know you had practice rounds with him last year, but having a guy like Larry Mize to bounce things off of who not only played here but won here, how does that impact you?

RUSSELL HENLEY: Yeah, it's been great. My first Masters I played with him the first two days in '13. Watching how he kind of manages the course when he didn't have his swing or didn't hit a great shot, he would always miss it in the right spot.

This is just a place where course knowledge is crucial, and I pick his brain a lot.

Q. Coming back on property, I know you've been here so many times, but does it feel any different coming back here given last year's results? Did it give you a bit of a different vibe coming back here?

RUSSELL HENLEY: Yeah, it definitely gave me a lot of confidence knowing where I finished last year and knowing -- got off to a hot start and kind of felt like I was somewhat in the mix the first few holes on Sunday.

I feel very good about my game. I've been working at it a lot these last four or five years, and I'm just going to try to keep believing in it.

Q. Career high world golf ranking. Does the way you feel match up with that? Do you feel like you're playing the best golf of your career?

RUSSELL HENLEY: Sometimes I do. Sometimes I feel like my game is a little off and I'm struggling, but I feel like I'm able to manage my game on those days and make pars and kind of make some scrappy pars.

I feel like I've been able to keep my round going, working on my short game a lot. Some days I don't really feel that good, but I've been able to make those rounds okay, and I think that's the difference.

Q. Do you lean on those memories from last year and just the way you were feeling out there, especially on Sunday?

RUSSELL HENLEY: Yeah, I think you've got to embrace just all the nerves and excitement. It's just a big week. Everybody is out here on Monday clapping and cheering for you when you're hitting shots into these greens.

It's just a much different setup than a normal TOUR event, so you just have to embrace all the excitement, and that's kind of what I did last year. I feel like I did a good job of just trying to let that excitement help me stay more focused on what I was doing.

Q. A lot of people in Macon rooting for you this week. How much of a home game does this feel like for you?

RUSSELL HENLEY: Kinda, yeah. I feel like the majority of people don't know who I am, but I see a lot of people who recognize me, and I'll chat with them a little bit.

Q. Just going into this week, what needs to be on about your game to compete?

RUSSELL HENLEY: I think I have to hit my driver well. I think this place is a little bit underrated going off the tee. You've got to hit the ball in the fairway and then just putting. I think if you can do those two things well and hit your irons -- hit my irons the way I normally hit them, I feel like that'll produce a good score.

Q. One guy who knows who you are is Neal Shipley. Can you talk to me about your relationship with him and what kind of guy is he, and how is it with him?

RUSSELL HENLEY: Well, Jimmy Beck is the assistant coach at Ohio State now, and I've played a lot of golf with Jimmy when he was in Columbus, Georgia. I kind of met Neal through Jimmy. I've heard a lot about his game. He hammers the ball. He's a big kid, hits it hard. Looks like he doesn't have anything he really struggles with out there or any weaknesses.

I love the way he plays, and he seems like a very nice kid -- I say he's a kid. He's about a foot taller than me. I'm excited to see how he does. I think he's going to do great.

Q. There's like an air of confidence and comfort. Seems like he's just in the flow.

RUSSELL HENLEY: Yeah, he looks good. Hopefully he can just keep carrying that on to the rest of the week.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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