Jerry Kelly ups lead to three at Zurich Classic

By Associated PressApril 25, 2009, 4:00 pm
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2007 Zurich ClassicAVONDALE, La. ' Jerry Kelly just wants to have fun.
 
Of course, even in New Orleans where he loves the great food and hot music, walking off with his third PGA Tour victory and the $1.1 million payday the Zurich Classic would provide would certainly up the fun factor.
 
David Toms
Local favorite David Toms shot even par and is now five back. (Getty Images)
Im going to try to have fun and see what happens, Kelly said after shooting a bogey-free 3-under 69 on Saturday to increase his lead to three strokes. Thats the key to my success when I come to a place like this. I have fun outside the ropes and inside the ropes.
 
Kelly, the 42-year-old Wisconsin player who won his two PGA Tour titles in 2002, has previously held or shared a three-shot lead after 54 holes six times in his career. Only one of those leads has led to a win ' the 2002 Sony Open. But this year 13 of the 16 players who have been up by three going into the final round have won.
 
You know, Ive got a swing thats not new, but it hasnt really been tested as much as Id like to have it tested, said Kelly, who made two birdies on the front nine and one on the back. Thats because I havent played well in the last few years.
 
His only goal Saturday was to be comfortable, said Kelly, who withdrew from the Verizon Heritage last week because of the flu and a dislocated rib that caused severe back pain. Im not going to force shots.
 
When he got into trouble Saturday, Kelly said he played smart. He credited that, and an improved, but not perfect swing with his spot at the top of the leaderboard.
 
Kelly had a 13-under 203 total at TPC Louisiana. He opened with rounds of 68 and 68.
 
Steve Marino made the strongest move of the day, using eight birdies to offset two bogeys and a double bogey. Marino moved to 11 under before a bogey on the par-5 18th dropped him to 10 under, still good enough to give him sole possession of second place.
 
It came out real hot and went over the green, said Marino, who finished with a 68. Thats the last place you want to be. I ended up making six. But I played well all day, and I look forward to more.
 
Marinos best finish was a second last year at the Mayakoba Golf Classic.
 
Five players ' Rod Pampling (68), Aaron Watkins (69), Charles Howell III (70), John Rollins (71) and Charlie Wi (71) ' were tied for third at 9 under. Howell and Wi moved to 10 under, but both bogeyed No. 17.
 
Pampling got in trouble on 12 with a double bogey.
 
Trust me, I wasnt very happy, Pampling said. You know, hitting a 5-wood and the ball plugs, youre never too happy after that. But Id been playing good. I hadnt made too many mistakes.
 
The tough Pete Dye-designed course, pin placement, and swirling wind that was made unpredictable by trees on the course, all contributed to problems, players said.
 
Its very difficult with the wind conditions, said Wi, who had the first-round lead. Especially on 17, you get it next to the water. And you make mistakes there.
 
David Toms (72) was 8 under along with Jeff Overton (68), Joe Ogilvie (69), Roland Thatcher (70), Rory Sabbatini (71), Kevin Stadler (71) and John Merrick (72).
 
I wasnt making birdies and I got kind of behind, Toms said. I needed to make some shots and play smart and play the golf course like you have to.
 
Stadler, who finished with a triple bogey, gained entry into the tournament as a Monday qualifier when he shot a 66 at the Bridges Golf Club in Bay St. Louis, Miss. Stadler is a conditional player after finishing 145th on last years money list.
 
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    Suspended Hensby offers details on missed drug test

    By Will GrayDecember 12, 2017, 11:30 pm

    One day after receiving a one-year suspension from the PGA Tour for failing to provide a sample for a drug test, Mark Hensby offered details on the events that led to his missed test in October.

    Hensby, 46, released a statement explaining that the test in question came after the opening round of the Sanderson Farms Championship, where the Aussie opened with a 78. Frustrated about his play, Hensby said he was prepared to give a blood sample but was then informed that the test would be urine, not blood.

    "I had just urinated on the eighth hole, my 17th hole that day, and knew that I was probably unable to complete the urine test for at least a couple more hours," Hensby said. "I told this gentleman that I would complete the test in the morning prior to my early morning tee time. Another gentleman nearby told me that 'they have no authority to require me to stay.' Thus, I left."

    Hensby explained that he subsequently received multiple calls and texts from PGA Tour officials inquiring as to why he left without providing a sample and requesting that he return to the course.

    "I showed poor judgment in not responding," said Hensby, who was subsequently disqualified from the tournament.

    Hensby won the 2004 John Deere Classic, but he has missed six cuts in seven PGA Tour starts over the last two years. He will not be eligible to return to the Tour until Oct. 26, 2018.

    "Again, I made a terrible decision to not stay around that evening to take the urine test," Hensby said. "Obviously in hindsight I should have been more patient, more rational and taken the test. Call me stupid, but don't call me a cheater. I love the game. I love the integrity that it represents, and I would never compromise the values and qualities that the game deserves."

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    Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 4:12 pm

    Jason Day’s wife revealed on social media that the couple had a miscarriage last month.

    Ellie Day, who announced her pregnancy on Nov. 4, posted an emotional note on Instagram that she lost the baby on Thanksgiving.

    “I found out the baby had no heartbeat anymore. I was devastated,” she wrote. “I snuck out the back door of my doctor, a hot, sobbing, mascara-covered mess. Two and a half weeks went by witih me battling my heart and brain about what was happening in my body, wondering why this wouldn’t just be over.”

    The Days, who have two children, Dash and Lucy, decided to go public to help others who have suffered similar heartbreak.

    “I hope you know you aren’t alone and I hope you feel God wrap his arms around you when you feel the depths of sorrow and loss,” she wrote.  

    Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 1:00 pm

    This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.

    The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.

    Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.

    The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.


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    A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.

    And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

    The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.


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    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

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