Kelly Rides Ace to Verizon Heritage Lead

By Associated PressApril 14, 2007, 4:00 pm
2007 Verizon HeritageHILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. -- Jerry Kelly's hole-in-one helped move him past a fading Ernie Els on Saturday in the Verizon Heritage.
 
When Kelly stepped to the par-3 fourth hole, he was two shots behind Els, who looked like his smooth-swinging, Big Easy persona the first two rounds. But Kelly stunningly caught his playing partner with a 4-iron shot that hit the green, bounced to the flag stick and dropped in.
 
And Kelly wasn't done.
 
Ernie Els
Ernie Els survived an opening double-bogey to stay within one of the lead. (WireImage)
He tapped in for birdie on the next hole to move in front, then added two more birdies to extend the lead to two shots. When Kelly knocked in an 8-footer for birdie on the 12th hole, he was three strokes ahead of the field.
 
Kelly finished with a 67 and, at 13 under, stood a stroke ahead of Els (71), who drained a 35-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole, and Kevin Na (66).
 
Masters winner Zach Johnson kept up his inspired play after his emotional, draining triumph at Augusta National. His 66 left him four shots back along with Stephen Ames (64), Vaughn Taylor (67), Sean O'Hair (69) and Stephen Leaney (70).
 
Els seemed ready to end his nearly three-year PGA TOUR victory drought and cap a lengthy comeback since knee surgery in 2005. He made only one bogey the first 36 holes, his two 65s leaving him a shot off the tournament's halfway scoring mark.
 
But Els was off target from the start Saturday. He drove right into some trees on the first hole, then struck a tree with his next shot. His third landed in a bunker and Els ended with a double-bogey 6. He steadied himself two holes later with a birdie that pushed him two shots in front of Kelly -- and set up Kelly's dramatic ace.
 
After the tee shot went in, Els high-fived Kelly, who raised both arms in celebration. When Kelly pulled the ball from the cup, he gestured to throw it into the gallery before abruptly stopping and shaking his head 'No,' a big smile on his face.
 
'Not many times things go the way you plan them,' Kelly said. 'That went in the way I planned it.'
 
It was the 12th ace at the Verizon Heritage, which has been played on Harbour Town Golf Links since 1969.
 
Kelly's three-shot margin disappeared with a pair of bogeys on the 13th and 15th holes. But he regained the lead when Els had more tree problems, this time on the 16th. Els drove behind the large tree on the right side of the fairway. His approach struck the branches and landed about 50 yards away, leading to a bogey.
 
Johnson continued to show he wasn't out of game after his big victory and three days of celebrations and celebrity meetings. He shot a 66 -- improving by two strokes for third straight round -- and had a chance to become the first Masters winner to follow with victory here since Bernhard Langer in 1985.
 
Johnson didn't spend much time practicing since gaining the green jacket. After all, there were TV appearances like David Letterman to make and dignitaries like presidential candidate Barack Obama to meet. So Johnson called on last week's momentum to keep him going here. 'I still feel the good vibes from last week,' he said.
 
Divots:
Ames' 64 was his best round of the year, surpassing a 67 last month in the second round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational. ... Threatening weather led organizers to move back Sunday's tee times to 11 a.m. with groups of three going off the first and 10th tees. ... Overheard along the third hole, a spectator from the Northeast talking of Sunday's impending storm: 'Enjoy the snow. Make sure you plow my driveway.' Harbour Town was expecting severe thunderstorms forecast for overnight and early Sunday morning.
 
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    Rose leads halted Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

    By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

    JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.

    The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.

    Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.

    Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.

    There was no reason given for his withdrawal, but the American has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

    Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

    Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

    Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

    None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.


    Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


    Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

    An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

    In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

    Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.


    Playing with the pros

    Tiger, DJ and Faxon

    Article: Video, images from Tiger, DJ's round with Trump

    Article: After DJ and Tiger, Trump plays golf with Jack

    Rory faces criticism

    Article: Rory: Round with Trump about respect for presidency

    Article: Rory: Round with Trump not a 'political statement'


    President at the Presidents Cup


    Video: President Trump makes the rounds at Liberty National

    Article: President Trump presents trophy to U.S. team

    Article: Stricker: 'Great thrill' to get trophy from Trump


    Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

    Article: Senator tweets Trump shot 73 in windy, wet conditions

    Article: Graham offers details on Trump's round of 73


    Cart on the green


    Article: Trump appears to drive cart on Bedminster green


    Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open


    Article: Trump makes presidential history at Women's Open

    Article: Trump supporters, protesters clash near Women's Open

    Article: UltraViolet takes protest inside Trump National


    Photo gallery: President Trump at the U.S. Women's Open


    Trump golf properties

    Vandalism

    Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

    Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses

    Finances


    Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

    Article: Eric Trump denies Russia helped fund golf courses

    Article: Trump company ordered to pay $5.77M in dues dispute

    Reportedly fake TIME covers


    Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover


    Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

    Report: Trump's voter fraud claim tied to Langer

    Langer: Trump 'apologized' for story mix-up


    Pros comment on the president

    Article: Players defend Trump at Senior PGA Championship

    Article: Trump congratulates Daly; Daly congratulates Trump

    Getty Images

    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm

    Spieth, Thomas headline winter break trip to Cabo

    By Grill Room TeamDecember 15, 2017, 1:05 am

    Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Really good at golf. Really good at vacationing.

    With #SB2K18 still months away, Thomas and Spieth headlined a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, and this will shock you but it looks like they had a great time.

    Spring break veteran Smylie Kaufman joined the party, as did Thomas' roommate, Tom Lovelady, who continued his shirtless trend.

    The gang played all the hits, including shoeless golf in baketball jerseys and late nights with Casamigos tequila.

    Image via tom.lovelady on Instagram.

    In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.