Henry Joins Exclusive Club
Jan. 11, 2018
At 12:50 p.m. Hawaiian time Thursday afternoon, JJ Henry will begin a PGA Tour event for the 500th time in his steady 18-year career.
He will start his 1,586th round, play his 28,531st hole and record his 112,386th stroke while playing alongside the best players in the world. Henry will become the 145th player in PGA Tour history to join the 500-start club after teeing off on the 480-yard par 4 at the Waialae Country Club in Honolulu.
“I think that my competitive nature and my competitive spirit is why I’ve been successful for all these years,” said Henry, a 1998 TCU graduate. “I’m very proud of the accomplishments I’ve had over these 500 events.”
Henry, who as much as anyone embodies the university he played for, relishes the underdog role and being a family man.
“For a lot of reasons, we’ve always kind of been the underdog,” said Henry about TCU. “We’ve been ‘the little engine that could.’ Ironically, I haven’t won 10 majors, but at the same time, I’ve tried to do things the right way. I’ve tried to work hard and to look back and say that you accomplished something that not many people have is pretty cool.”
Henry has three wins on the tour. Two wins came at the Reno-Tahoe Open and his first tour win was on July 2, 2006, at the Buick Championship (now the Travelers Championship) played at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Connecticut, 52 miles from his birthplace of Fairfield, Connecticut. It was that same tournament where Henry made his first tour start in 1998 the summer after finishing runner-up at the 1998 NCAA Championship and earning his third All-America honor at TCU.
“I was still an amateur,” said Henry on the memories of event No. 1. “My dad caddied for me. I made the cut.”
Family means a lot to Henry, who lives in Fort Worth with his wife, Lee, and his sons, Connor and Carson. While many people golf on vacation, Henry considers being at home with family his vacation.
“I’m on the road 30 weeks out of the year, but when I do come home, I get to spend it with my family and my extended family with the TCU folks whether it’s at a basketball game or a football game,” said Henry. “Just being a part of the TCU community is very special. I’m grateful and humbled to have a lot of support from people in Fort Worth.”
As a collegiate golfer, Henry was one of the most productive in TCU history. He had 11 career top-10 finishes including the 1998 Western Athletic Conference Championship. He led the Horned Frogs to the 1997 and 1998 WAC team titles. In 1998, he was clutch down the stretch by sinking a hole-in-one on the next-to-last hole.
“It seemed like when it really counted he could always come through,” said TCU head coach Bill Montigel. “He was a really tough competitor. He loves playing and competing. That’s what makes him tough.”
On the PGA Tour, Henry has amassed 38 top-10 finishes, 94 top-25 finishes and perhaps the most impressive, has made 317 cuts. At age 42, Henry is just one of three active players under the age of 45 who have reached the 500 mark. Stewart Cink (age 44) has made 544 starts, while Charles Howell III (age 38) has made 502 starts.
“The cool thing about golf is it really doesn’t know how old you are,” said Henry. “If you can continue to stay in somewhat good shape and health and have a pretty good mental fortitude to have the commitment to do the things. Here I am at 42, still playing against the best players in the world and they’re still giving me a tee time every week, so that’s pretty cool.”
JJ Henry: A Day in the Live (via PGATour.com)
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