Practice? Who needs it? Not Henley, who cards 71

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AUGUSTA, Ga. – The last man in the field was the first off Thursday at the Masters. Russell Henley might also be the first to tell you preparation may be overrated.

Actually, over-preparation is overrated, which at least partially explained Henley’s first-round 71 that left him among the top 5 on Day 1 at Augusta National.

Henley won last week’s Shell Houston Open to earn a spot in this week’s field and his practice was cut short by storms on Monday and Wednesday, but abbreviated practice didn’t seem to slow the Georgia native.


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“He kind of figured out last time not to over prepare and getting in at the last minute helped that,” said Henley’s swing coach Scott Hamilton.

Henley had an eventful opening day with two birdies and a bogey through his first four holes. He only made nine pars on a wind-swept day and solidified his spot on the leaderboard with three consecutive birdies starting at the 12th hole.

“This being my fourth [Masters], I feel comfortable, as comfortable as you can feel and just really feel like I'm enjoying it, enjoying the challenge,” Henley said. “It's a very unique course, you don't play another one like it the whole year, so it's just trying to enjoy the challenge of the course.”