Sunday Notebook: Two tie for top amateur showing

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Russell Henley heard from the gallery as he made his way down the 18th fairway on Sunday.
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Published: Monday, June 21, 2010 | 3:15 p.m.

Reigning NCAA champion Scott Langley of Illinois and University of Georgia star Russell Henley shared the distinction of top amateur at the U.S. Open. Each finished 8-over 292 and in a tie for 16th.

They combined for the best finish by amateurs since Spencer Levin tied for 14th in 2003. Langley and Henley are among eight other amateurs to finish in the top 20 since 1970.

He slapped hands with several supporters along the ropes between the 16th green and 17th tee. Henley acknowledged as many of the people as he could along the way, with smiles, waves, tips of his visor.

Approaching the 18th green to a roaring standing ovation, he pulled out his best one yet: He waved his visor, put his hand to his ear and raised both arms up signaling for more.

This guy could ham it up and still play great golf.

"It's not very often you get to play in the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. It was awesome," Henley said. "You can't take anything like this for granted. ... I tried to have a ball out there."

Henley stood at the 18th tee looking out at Carmel Bay when his caddie and big brother, Adam, put his arm around the golfer. Talk about a special moment for these two boys from Macon, Ga.

"It's such a famous hole and the culmination of this whole week has just been magical," said Adam, who at 32 is 11 years older. "What we kept talking about today is what a beautiful course it is and how everybody is cheering for him."

All week, Adam told his brother to enjoy the experience. Their parents were there waiting at the end.

Tom Watson played behind Henley and offered "nice play" congratulations at the scorer's trailer afterward.

"You, too," Henley said.

While Henley was somewhat surprised how many fans knew who he was -- "I guess they read the pairings sheet" -- many more might be watching for him now.

"I'm just some kid from Macon," he said.

"I think they know his name now," Adam said.