Henley will remain an amateur

by Derek on May 11, 2011

in Nationwide Tour

Some bootleg footage of Russell Henley’s victory on Sunday.

After becoming only the 2nd amateur winner in Nationwide Tour history, University of Georgia Senior, Russell Henley has decided to retain his amateur status.

The $99k winner’s purse went to second place finisher Troy Kelley who finished 2 shots behind Henley.  Henley still has 60 days to change his mind and accept winner’s status on the Nationwide Tour.

Henley is graduating on Friday but wants to play in various amateur events this summer, including the Walker Cup in September.

I could understand holding off on turning professional if he was a sophomore and still had several years of collegiate level amateur golf in front of him.  But if he hadn’t won last weekend, he would no doubt be turning professional in a few months and heading to Q-school.

To me, it seems like a no-brainer to accept the status on the Nationwide tour, sign a nice endorsement deal and see if by the end of the year, he has locked up a card for the big show.  But perhaps Henley is thinking that he might emerge from Q-School this fall with a PGA Tour card, rather than a Nationwide Tour card?

Henley was also the low amateur at the 2010 US Open, finishing in 16th place.  So he clearly has the chops to play at the highest level, but it seems like quite a risk to walk away from a guaranteed spot on the Nationwide Tour for the uncertainty of Q-School later this year.


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