Jerry Kelly, who shot 70 on Thursday, is playing in the U.S. Open for the first time in three years.
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
ARDMORE, Pa. -- Jerry Kelly spent the three-and-a-half hour weather delay watching Philip Seymour Hoffman in "The Master."
"It's a pretty darn good movie; you should rent it," he said.
Shortly after the closing credits, Kelly went out and completed a pretty darn good round of golf at Merion, too.
The 46-year-old was tied for the lead during the first round of the U.S. Open until Phil Mickelson one-upped him and got to 3 under on his penultimate hole. Kelly then fell back into the group at even par when he made double bogey at No. 18.
Kelly, who survived the 36-hole sectional qualifying to earn his spot, only ended up playing one practice round at Merion due to the weather issues earlier in the week. Plus, he doesn't play 18 holes the day before a major -- "I'm too old for that, sorry," Kelly said.
As a result, he found he wasn't as committed to his shots as he would have liked.
"It was a little uncomfortable with some of the lines just because I didn't know what am I in if I miss it left here, what am I in if I miss it right," Kelly said. "So I wasn't able to do my normal homework. It's just the way it goes.
"I'll get more comfortable as the week goes on. I have to strike it better than I did today. I didn't hit it very well. But barring double on the last hole, I'm all right with the round."
Kelly said he had a "little epiphany" with his swing recently and the work he's been doing on his putting with Brian Geiberger is starting to bear fruit.
"I've never been able to get to my left side and putt," Kelly said. "He got me on my left side putting."
Energized, Kelly came back after a two-week break to shoot 67-67 in the U.S. Open qualifying, then posted two more rounds in the 60s at last week's FedEx St. Jude Classic. While he admits he's been "stepping on my own feet quite a bit" like he did at the 18th on Thursday, Kelly feels good about where his game is headed.
"I know I'm getting older, but I'm starting to feel comfortable and not put as much pressure," he said. "But you say that and I'm still going to get as (ticked) as I always have, so you know."
The pairings have been unveiled for this week’s PGA TOUR Matchups Game on Facebook. You can check out the Matchups for the British Open below, or on the PGA TOUR’s Facebook page.
Participants have until 6 a.m. ET Thursday to make their picks. Log on to the PGA TOUR Facebook page and click the Matchups link to make your picks for this week, or to sign up.
Matchups for the British Open:
|Tiger Woods vs. Bubba Watson||Will these two big hitters bag their drivers for the entire week?|
|Padraig Harrington vs. Rory McIlroy||Two Irishmen -- and two different ways of navigating the links|
|Sergio Garcia vs. Dustin Johnson||Both have come oh-so-close to winning this event|
|Luke Donald vs. Lee Westwood||Will one of these greats finally snag that elusive major?|
|Darren Clarke vs. Louis Oosthuizen||The last two British Open champs clash at Royal Lytham|
Following his opening-round 66, Jerry Kelly reflects on his play in the 2012 Travelers Championship with Fred Albers from SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio.
CROMWELL, Conn. -- A shot off the early lead is Jerry Kelly, who played his college golf at nearby University of Hartford and was bogey-free on Thursday.
Kelly has struggled of late, however, missing three of his last five cuts and also failing to qualify for the year’s first two majors.
“I had to take serious stock in my game,” Kelly said. “I had to figure out if I'm going to go one way or the other way. And definitely just want to rededicate myself, both mentally and physically. That's kind of the way I came out today and this week was to kind of reset the program a little bit and be a little nicer to myself and maybe everybody else.”
The result? Kelly birdied his first three holes and added one more for his best round in two months.
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
NORTON, Mass. -- Jerry Kelly looked surprised when someone reminded him that he'd had a good run at TPC Boston two years ago.
"I did?" he asked. "All I remember is I missed it last year."
He did – on both counts. Kelly was two strokes off the lead entering the final round of the Deutsche Bank Championship in 2009 and went on to tie for 11th. But last year's early exit from the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup was much more top of mind for the veteran from Wisconsin.
"That's one of the reasons I fought to get here, because I certainly didn't like missing it last year," Kelly said. "I don't like missing anything. I don't like missing Atlanta, I don't like missing majors. But it happens, and I try my best not to let it happen again."
Not only is Kelly playing at TPC Boston, he's one stroke off the lead after shooting a 66 that was his eighth straight sub-70 round dating back to his tie for 26th at the PGA Championship. To hear him talk, course management was as important as a cooperative putter that needed just 25 strokes.
"It was interesting out there," Kelly said. "I didn't really
have much on the tee balls except for getting them in the fairways,
and my irons weren't very crisp. But my brain was working really
well today. I got her around the golf course with a not-so-perfect
swing. So I'm happy with the result.
"I've been hitting it so well the last three weeks that I don't know if I was really hitting it poorly. But ... I've been so used to flushing it. This definitely wasn't one of those days, but I'm happy with the score."
Kelly's round included birdie putts of 18, 15, 3 and 13 feet, as well as a chip-in eagle at the 18th. He says he's been working hard on his mobility and can now "smooth the ball out there with a decent swing" rather than going at it "100 to 110 percent." Kelly has also worked hard on calming himself down -- and the synergy between the two has paid dividends of late.
"So all of a sudden my swing and what I was trying to do with my mental attitude, they were matching up, so I was able to stay in that mode all the way through a round, which was very difficult for me in the past," Kelly explained. "I'd go after it, I'd try to get something back or I'd try to go further. I'd always be fighting it.
"But I don't think I had the swing or the body to be able to smooth it out correctly like I am now, so I credit those two houses right there with giving me the ability. But I definitely credit me with going ahead and trying it anyway. I'm just glad it turned out."
Kelly is well aware of where he stands in the FedExCUp and what he needs to do to secure his spot in the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola. He came into the week ranked 47th and he says he needs to finish among the top four to be safe for East Lake.
"I'm on top of my numbers," he said, in between bites of some Wisconsin cheddar.
It’s been more than two years since Jerry Kelly last won. It’s been just four months since Charl Schwartzel’s last victory. They’re both tied for the early clubhouse lead after each shot a 5-under 66 Thursday at TPC Boston.
Neither has ever won an event in the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup, but they were stellar with each just making one bogey and needing just 25 putts apiece on a spectacular morning just outside Boston.
There’s of course a long way to go, but Schwartzel, who entered the week 28th in the FedExCup cup, is currently projected to move to second. Kelly, who began the week 47th, would move to third.
The bigger story, however, may be who’s behind them. Jason Day is just a stroke back, as is Nick Watney, who is finishing up his round as we speak. Last week’s winner, Dustin Johnson, is another shot back from that and the reigning FedExCup champ, Jim Furyk, who needs a good week just to advance to the BMWE Championship in two weeks, is only three off the pace.
In other words, there are some big names making some big moves early in Boston.
NORTON, Mass. -- Jerry Kelly didn't make the field for the Deutsche Bank Championship last year.
Not only did he qualify for the second event of the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup this year, though, Kelly owns the early lead at 5 under. He's played 14 holes and he's two stokes ahead of Scott Piercy, Keegan Bradley, Jason Day, Nick Watney, Johnson Wagner and Troy Matteson.
Kelly has made four birdies, an eagle and dropped just one shot to par on a crystal clear and cool Friday. He started on the back and made the turn in 31 thanks to the wedge he holed from 34 yards at the par-5 18th.
The Wisconsin native has history at TPC Boston, too. He was two strokes off the lead heading into the final round two years ago and went on to tie for 11th – his second-best finish in 11 Playoffs events.