[PHOTO: Hector Vivas]

Russell Henley won the World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba in a walk and, given his recent experiences both in Mayakoba and as a 54-hole leader, let’s just say he probably deserved to have a breather in winning his fourth PGA Tour title.

Henley finished off a stellar week with a final-round 70 that gave him a four-shot victory over Brian Harman. That was a better finish than earlier this year when he held the lead after three rounds of the Sony Open and shot 65 in the final round only to lose in a playoff to Hideki Matsuyama. It also helped erase the bitter taste of the Mayakoba event in 2019 when it looked like Henley would be in contention for the weekend only to suffer an eight-stroke penalty for violating the tour’s one-ball rule.

No such fate occurred this time in Mexico. Henley was in command from the start. Comforted by a six-shot margin at the beginning of the final round, Henley’s first bogey of the tournament came on the fifth hole of the final round, but he quickly rebounded with three straight birdies at the sixth, seventh and eighth holes to restore the margin to half a dozen shots.

A gap wedge from 112 metres to tight range at the sixth got things going and was followed by a 15-footer for birdie at the seventh. On the next hole, a short-iron shot off the tee at the 138-metre, par 3 nestled inside 10 feet and Henley made that putt as well.

That stretch was emblematic of Henley’s week as he relied on his short clubs and putter. Despite ranking second in driving accuracy with his 10-degree Titleist TSi3 driver, Henley hit only 51 greens (ranked T-21). His short game, however, was impeccable as he used a trio of Titleist Vokey SM8 wedges to get up and down 19 of 21 times to rank second in scrambling.

When he did hit the green, Henley made the most of his opportunities, dropping enough birdie putts to rank eighth in putts per green in regulation. Henley’s putter is a Scotty Cameron by Titleist prototype blade putter that features a very long hosel. Henley has been fond of a long hosel on the putter since his days in college and has mostly stuck with that style throughout much of his PGA Tour career.

Also at various points in his career Henley was known to set his phone for a text alert to himself that read, “I am the best putter in the world.” This week, he was certainly one of the best in Mexico. And that’s all that really mattered.

What Russell Henley had in the bag at the World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba:

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

Driver: Titleist TSi3 (Project X HZRDUS Smoke Black 7.0), 10 degrees

3-wood: Titleist TS3, 16.5 degrees

Hybrid: Titleist TSi2, 21 degrees

Irons (4-9): Titleist T100; (PW): Titleist Vokey SM8

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM8 (50, 54, 58 degrees)

Putter: Scotty Cameron by Titleist GSS prototype