Georgia Bulldogs amateur Russell Henley has had a fantastic 2011 US Open, but his Saturday may end up being something special. Through his front nine he's 4-under on the day, moving him to 4-under overall and putting him into a tie for third place with Y.E. Yang and behind Fredrik Jacobson and leader Rory McIlroy.
Those are all pros, by the way. The nearest amateurs are Patrick Cantlay, tied for 16th, and Brad Benjamin, tied for 71st.
Peach State golf's amateur heritage is among the sport's best, with Bobby Jones himself an Atlanta native and resident. No amateur has won a PGA Tour tournament since Phil Mickelson in 1991 -- McIlroy's dynamite tournament has all but ensured Henley won't achieve that this weekend, but it shouldn't be ruled out for the near future.
Henley was just the second amateur to ever win a Nationwide Series event, however, taking Athens, Georgia's 2011 Stadion Classic just last month. He turned down the $99,000 prize in order to remain an amateur, finishing up his classes at UGA shortly after. He's said he wants to keep competing in amateur tournaments before eventually turning pro, particularly the upcoming 2011 Walker Cup.