Troy Kelly sinks a 22-foot putt to save par on the par-5 17th hole during a playoff before losing one hole later.
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W. Va. -- Not all was bad for Troy Kelly, who lost on the third hole of a sudden-death playoff Sunday at The Greenbrier Classic.
By finishing second, the 33-year-old journeyman earned a spot in the field at Royal Lytham & St. Annes in two weeks.
Kelly will be joined by Marc Leishman and the player Kelly lost to, Ted Potter Jr. Leishman and Potter punched their tickets via a six-tournament min-money list that ended this week. Kelly earned his spot by being the top finisher here not otherwise eligible.
Similarly, the top finisher in next week’s John Deere Classic not otherwise eligible will also earn a spot in the British Open.
Not that Kelly wouldn’t have minded trading places with Potter.
He almost did, too.
Kelly’s second shot to the par-5 17th ran through the green and down an embankment, but he chipped to 10 feet. He missed the birdie putt, however, and would par the 18th as well.
“I had a good look at it, actually just pushed it a little bit,” Kelly said of the putt. “I needed that, it just wasn't a great stroke. But I made a lot of good strokes. It's an improvement from what I've been doing, so it’s something to build off.”
Kelly, who got his PGA TOUR card after finishing 11th on the Web.com Tour money list last year, will play in his first British Open in two weeks. He’ll also likely get into some other tournaments.
“Just believe in myself,” Kelly said when asked what he learned from being in contention for the first time. “I think that's a huge thing in golf, is to really believe in yourself, and I think that's one thing that Tiger and those guys, Phil and all these great players, they really believe in themselves. When you're coming down the stretch, you've got to look back on things that you've had success in and just believe in yourself to hit those shots again.”