Golf: Russell Henley holds nerve in Classic

Russell Henley Honda Classic

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Russell Henley managed to battle his way through a four-man play-off to secure victory at the Honda Classic in Florida on Sunday.

It was a dramatic final round with Rory McIlroy leading by two shots going into Sunday, but the 24-year-old struggled as he dropped five shots before securing a birdie at the last to give himself a chance in the play-offs.

Having failed to wrap up the win on his final hole, McIlroy was joined by Henley, Ryan Palmer and Russell Knox in the four-way showdown.

Going down the 18th for a second time, it was Henley who was the only man to find the green in two and had to two-putt to claim the title.

After sinking the winning putt Henley revealed his delight at coming out on top for only the second time on the PGA Tour in what was a thrilling end to the event down in Florida.

He said: “I was so nervous coming down the stretch, just hang in there and try to enjoy every step.

“The crowd today was nothing like I’ve ever experienced and I wish I could play in front of a crowd like that every day. This isn’t going to sink in for a while.”

After what was a largely disappointing 2013 for McIlroy, the Northern Irishman will be able to take plenty of heart from his performance at the Honda Classic.

Despite falling short at the end, the two-time major winner is starting to play some of the golf that took him at one stage to number one in the world rankings and he will be pushing hard to add a third major to his tally in the coming months.

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