Sage Valley: Henley's path gives Wiggins hope for his

Russell Henley spoke to the 54-player field at the Junior Invitational on Nike Night at Sage Valley.

Russell Henley spoke to the 54-player field at the Junior Invitational on Nike Night at Sage Valley.

Boys Rankings »

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GRANITEVILLE, S.C. – If Russell Henley could give any player advice it would be, “See yourself where you want to be.”

Victor Wiggins knows exactly where he wants to be in late August. He’ll see himself at Auburn after signing at letter of national intent on April 20.

“I committed 2 and 1/ 2 years ago, so I’ve been counting down the days (to sign),” Wiggins said.

Henley, who was the guest speaker at Nike Night at the Junior Invitational at Sage Valley, and Wiggins, will have taken the same road to college golf. Neither player can be claimed off the AJGA’s hotbed of players.

Henley played local events in and around his hometown of Macon, Ga. Wiggins, a Gastonia, N.C., native, plays on the National Junior Golf Tour, a tour run by his father, Allen and all around North and South Carolina. Both have played some invitational tournaments.

Wiggins didn’t know Henley didn’t play AJGA events until he said that during the Q&A session on Friday.

“It was nice for him to talk and hear him speak,” Wiggins said. “It was pretty cool.”

It gives Wiggins more confidence to make it to the PGA Tour knowing he won’t have to prove himself on an elite junior tour. That is his ultimate goal after four years at Auburn.

In total, Wiggins has a 132 career junior victories, and that may not be all of them as he and his family they stopped counting for no good reason. He also holds the course record at The Walker Course at Clemson University with an 11-under 61, which included nine birdies and an eagle.

In the first round of the Junior Invitational, Wiggins struggled. He shot 6-over 78 while posting bogey runs on Nos. 1-3 and Nos. 16-18.

“It was a tough day today,” Wiggins added. “The wind swirled.”

Like another piece of advice Henley gave to the players, “My brother told me when I played in my first U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, ‘You could play with anyone out here.’ That was the turning point and I really knew I could."

Even if it’s down the road less traveled.

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