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A Bulldog among the azaleas: Russell Henley carries Georgia's hopes at Masters

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    Russell Henley watches his chip shot on the fourth hole during a practice round for the Masters golf tournament Monday, April 8, 2013, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)The Associated Press

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    Russell Henley, right, speaks with Tom Watson at the second hole during a practice round for the Masters golf tournament Monday, April 8, 2013, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)The Associated Press

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    Russell Henley hits on the second hole while spectators stop to take photos on the second fairway during a practice round for the Masters golf tournament Monday, April 8, 2013, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)The Associated Press

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    A tournament flag flaps in the wind as Matt Kuchar putts during a practice round for the Masters golf tournament Monday, April 8, 2013, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)The Associated Press

Russell Henley's head was on a swivel Monday at Augusta National, scanning the gallery for friends, family or anyone else yelling "Go Dawgs."

The former Georgia Bulldog and Peach State native is playing in his first Masters. He is carrying the hopes of fans cheering for their first home-state champion since Larry Mize won the green jacket in 1987. Henley said he hadn't ever felt as nervous as he did Monday — and that was just practice.

The 23-year-old attended the tournament while growing up in Macon. He played the course while at Georgia and won his way into the field with a victory at the Sony Open in January. He hopes that enjoying the moments early in the week will lead to focused golf when the tournament starts Thursday.