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Russell Henley had a Sunday to savor at TPC Deere Run.

The 30-year-old former Georgia standout did not claim the bronze buck trophy or his fourth PGA Tour victory, but he solidified his card for the 2019-20 season.

Henley registered the lowest final round in tournament history with a 10-under 61 to finish two strokes behind champion Dylan Frittelli.

“I’ve never finished with a 10-under 61, so that was awesome for me,” Henley said. “If you would have told me at the start of the day we’ll give you 66, I’d have said, that’s really good. So to get five (shots) better than that is really awesome.”

Henley took the clubhouse lead around 2:25 p.m., more than two hours before the final groups finished. He waited in the locker room area for about two hours before leaving Deere Run.

The runner-up finish was Henley’s first top 10 finish of the season and jumped him to 83rd in the FedEx Cup standings.

“Just to know that I wasn’t as far off as I felt this year, and hard work will pay off eventually,” Henley said of the takeaway for the week. “I wasn’t expecting to finish with a 61 today, but I’ve been working hard on my game, and the harder I work at it, the better I feel.”

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It was an 11-stroke improvement from Henley’s third round which included a pair of double bogeys.

Despite making a par at 17, which played as the course’s second-easiest hole Sunday, Henley had six birdies on the closing nine.

The 61 was a stroke better than what Ron Streck (1985), Andrew Magee (1996) and Jimmy Johnston (1997) shot in the final round at Oakwood Country Club.

There had been four players — Steve Lowery (2000), Carl Pettersson (2003), Martin Flores (2013) and Chris Stroud (2015) — to shoot 63 in the final round at Deere Run. None of them won the tournament.

Still, it was a step in the right direction for Henley after four consecutive missed cuts.

“There is just a little more clarity with my game,” he said. “I’m not questioning what I’m doing with my ball-striking or my putting. I feel a little more comfortable this week than I have the past couple weeks.”

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Sports Editor

Sports editor, with my emphasis on covering the Mississippi Athletic Conference and Iowa area high schools. I've been in sports journalism for 19 years, the last seven at the Q-C Times.