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Jerry Kelly's peers weigh in on his record-breaking showing at THE PLAYERS

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Jerry Kelly's peers weigh in on his record-breaking showing at THE PLAYERS

    By the time Jerry Kelly had reached the 72nd hole at THE PLAYERS Championship, fans had begun to chant his name.

    “Jer-ry! Jer-ry!” rang across Pete Dye’s THE PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass. Some undoubtedly already were fans of the PGA TOUR Champions stalwart and longtime PGA TOUR player. And certainly, there were those discovering the 56-year-old Wisconsin native for the first time.

    What they found was an affable former hockey player who still had enough juice not only to make the cut but to go lower than former PLAYERS champions Justin Thomas and Adam Scott on the weekend. Kelly finished in a tie for 54th at 1-under, shot 3-under for the weekend and pocketed $58,000.

    He also pushed Arnold Palmer out of the record books, becoming the oldest player on record to make the cut at THE PLAYERS. Any time you supplant the King you know it’s a pretty big deal.

    Kelly ranked first in driving accuracy for the week and 17th in putting. His accomplishments were not lost on his compatriots on PGA TOUR Champions, many of whom followed his exploits closely. Kelly received an automatic invitation to THE PLAYERS thanks to his win last season at the Kaulig Companies Championship (formerly known as the Bridgestone SENIOR PLAYERS).

    Jerry Kelly makes birdie on No. 17 at THE PLAYERS

    More than 30 Champions Tour players were texted and asked to share their thoughts on Kelly’s performance in 10 words or less. Here’s what those who responded said:

    Former PLAYERS champion Lee Janzen: “Not surprised. Fighter, aims high. Proud of the old guy.”

    Former PLAYERS champion Fred Funk: “Love him showing the youngsters the old guys can still play at a high level!”

    Jay Haas: “The ball does not know your name OR your age. … Wtg, JK!”

    Steve Stricker: “Pretty impressive! Beat a lot of good players. Made the PGA TOUR Champions proud.”

    Doug Barron: “He is a badass! One of the nicest and toughest guys I have ever known!”

    Bernhard Langer: “Awesome achievement. Jerry is a great champion 👏 "

    Ken Duke: “Well done 👏 "

    Dicky Pride: “Old guys can still play. Especially that one.”

    Jeff Sluman: “Not past his prime.”

    Brian Gay: “Very impressive! Hard to beat guys half your age!”

    Scott McCarron: “Jerry could still play on the PGA TOUR. One of the fiercest competitors I know!”

    Mark Calcavecchia: “Cool to see. Shows u how good he still is.”

    Alex Cejka: “Pretty sweet for the oldest guy to make the cut.”

    Rob Labritz: “I thought he’d finish in the top 20.”

    Wes Short Jr.: “Great to see an old man make the cut.”

    Ken Tanigawa: “Jerry should just stay out on the regular TOUR.”

    Paul Stankowski: “Very cool but not completely unexpected. The dude is good!”

    Gene Sauers: “That’s the way to show those young boys that we can still play!”

    Billy Andrade: “Didn’t surprise me at all. He’s been playing great for decades!!!”

    Brett Quigley: “Old guys rule.”

    Scott Parel: "Not surprised. He's a grinder. Fantastic accomplishment."

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