HONOLULU - Russell Henley made a lasting impression in his rookie debut on the PGA Tour with a record-setting performance in the Sony Open.
Tied for the lead with fellow rookie Scott Langley after the first three rounds at Waialae Country Club, Henley seized control Sunday with a birdie on the opening hole and then poured it on at the end.
He closed with five consecutive birdies, finally displaying emotion with a sweeping uppercut when his final putt disappeared into the cup, to win by three shots over Tim Clark.
Russell Henley holds the Sony Open trophy on Sunday after breaking the tournament scoring record by four shots.
Henley's 7-under-par round of 63 gave him a 24-under total of 256, breaking by four shots the Sony Open scoring record. His final score is tied for the second-lowest in a 72-hole event in tour history, behind the 254 posted by Tommy Armour III in 2003 at the Texas Open. Mark Calcavecchia had a 256 at the Phoenix Open in 2001.
The lowest score in relation to par in a four-round event is 31 under, by Ernie Els in the 2003 Mercedes Championships at the Kapalua Plantation Course.
"I don't really know what happened, honestly," said the 23-year-old Henley. "This is the most nervous I've ever been. That's the hardest thing I've ever done."
Lowest Scores in PGA Tour Four-Round Events
254-Tommy Armour III, 2003 Texas Open (26 under)
256-Mark Calcavecchia, 2001 Phoenix Open (28 under)
256-Russell Henley, 2013 Sony Open (24 under)
257-Mike Souchak, 1955 Texas Open (27 under)
257-Tiger Woods, 2007 PGA Tour Championship (23 under)
The previous Sony Open mark of 260 was set by John Huston in 1998, and matched by Brad Faxon in 2001.
Henley also set tournament records for the low 36-hole score after his 63-63 start, shared the 54-hole record with Langley and set another tournament record with the lowest final round by a champion.
He became the first PGA Tour rookie to win his debut since Henrik Stenson won the Accenture Match Play Championship, a World Golf Championships event, in 2007. Before that, the last debut winner was Garrett Willis in the 2001 Tucson Open, which was held the same week as the winners-only event in Kapalua.
Clark, finally feeling healthy after a mysterious elbow injury following his runner-up finish at the Sony Open in 2011, shot 63. Charles Howell III closed with a 66 to tie for third at 263 with Langley, who birdied his last two holes for a 70.
Howell, twice a runner-up at the Sony Open, made a 15-foot eagle putt on the ninth to get within one shot, but only as long as it took Henley to two-putt for birdie on the ninth and smash a drive on the 10th that set up a pitch-and-putt birdie.