Kelly Sets Sights on Major Victory

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 18, 2005, 4:00 pm
US Bank Championship in MilwaukeeFor the second straight week a major will be contested on the PGA Tour. At least in the eyes of Jerry Kelly.
For Kelly, a proud Wisconsinite, the U.S. Bank Championship in Milwaukee is the one tournament, aside from one of the four majors, which he most wants to win on tour. He refers to it as my major.
Jerry Kelly
Jerry Kelly has a pair of top-3 finishes in his home event.
All I try to do in Wisconsin is play for the people, Kelly said at last years PGA Championship, which was held at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wis. I tend not to focus on anything except for having fun with these people, which I tend not to have enough fun everywhere else. But these people are so supportive of me that I just really enjoy playing for them.
Kelly, who was born in Madison and still lives there, could use a little enjoyment in the work place.
This will mark his 20th event of the season, and thus far he has only one top-10 finish ' and that came in Januarys Bob Hope Chrysler Classic. Hes made over $2 million in each of the last three seasons, but has deposited less than $700,000 this year.
He can attribute some of that to dabbling with different equipment earlier in the season. Hes also been working primarily with brother-in-law Jim Schuman as his instructor. Schuman and Rick Smith used to share those duties, with Smith leading the way. But with Phil Mickelson occupying a large part of Smiths time, Kelly decided to flip-flop to roles of the two.
And theres also the matter of physical ailments ' Kelly always seems to be bothered by something resulting from his days as a hockey player.
Kelly missed the cut in last weeks Open Championship, meaning he should be a little more rested for this years home state event.
Hes one of a handful of players scheduled to make the journey from the Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland to Brown Deer Park in Milwaukee.
One of those players is our favorite for the week.
Five for the Title:
Kenny Perry
Perry tied for 11th at the Open. Hes having a year reminiscent to that of 2003, in which he won three times, including this event. Perry has already won the Bay Hill Invitational and the Bank of America Colonial (which he also won in '03). The 44-year-old has the best record of anyone at Brown Deer Park Golf Course (par 70, 6,759 yards) over the last five years. He tied for third in 2000; tied for fifth in 2001; was fourth in 2002; won in 2003; and tied for seventh a year ago.
Carlos Franco
Carlos Franco looks to become the first repeat winner in this event.
Carlos Franco
Franco doesnt have Perrys consistency in this event, but he does have more victories. This will be his seventh start in the event formerly known as the Greater Milwaukee Open. He has four career victories on the PGA Tour. Two have come in New Orleans and the other two have come here. Franco captured this tournament in 1999 and again last year, when he defeated Fred Funk and Brett Quigley by two strokes. Franco has never missed the cut in Milwaukee, but those are his only two top-20s in six previous starts.
Jerry Kelly
Kelly has had mixed results in his home tournament. In 13 career starts, he has three top-10s and four missed cuts. His best results came in a runner-up finish in 1996 and a third-place finish in 1999. Last year, he was one off the first-round lead after opening in 4-under 66. But while Franco took control of the event with a Friday 63, Kelly shot 2-over 72. Black numbers are a killer in terms of winning this event. Not since Jim Thorpe in 1985 has a player shot an over-par round and gone on to win.
Jeff Sluman
There has never been a three-time winner of this event, but there have been seven two-time champs. Sluman is among that group. He prevailed in 1998 and again in 2002. That 02 triumph is his most recent on tour. This will mark Slumans 18th appearance in Milwaukee. He, like Kelly, opened in 66 a year ago, but then posted a 72. He eventually tied for 22nd.
Tim Herron
Herron has never won this event ' he hasnt won anywhere since the 1999 Bay Hill Invitational, but he has a good track record at Brown Deer. Herron tied for second in 2002 and tied for third in 2003. He tied for 10th in his last Stateside tournament at the Cialis Western Open and tied for 41st at the Open Championship.
Playing Out the Front Nine
Four more players to keep an eye on
*Skip Kendall, who was born in Milwaukee and grew up playing Brown Deer. Kendall knows this layout better than anyone. He has three top-10s in 14 career starts.
*Brad Faxon, who flew to Scotland on his own dime to qualify for the Open Championship. He performed admirably at St. Andrews, getting within four of the 54-hole lead, before a final-round 76 dropped him into a tie for 23rd. He tied for third in his last U.S. start at the Barclays Classic. His appearance in this event a year ago, in which he tied for 24th, was his first since 1995.
*Scott Verplank, who also performed well at St. Andrews. Verplank tied Faxon for 23rd at St. Andrews. He tied for 11th here a year ago. It was his first Milwaukee start since 1991.
*Sean OHair, who is making his first U.S. Bank start. OHair is playing quite well of late. The 23-year-old tour rookie captured the John Deere Classic two weeks ago. But he may be a bit exhausted after taking an unexpected and chaotic trip to St. Andrews, where he tied for 15th.
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    McCoy earns medalist honors at Q-School

    By Will GrayDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 am

    One year after his budding career was derailed by a car accident, Lee McCoy got back on track by earning medalist honors at the final stage of Tour Q-School.

    McCoy shot a final-round 65 at Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler, Ariz., to finish the 72-hole event at 28 under. That total left him two shots ahead of Sung-Jae Im and guaranteed him fully-exempt status on the developmental circuit in 2018.

    It's an impressive turnaround for the former University of Georgia standout who finished fourth at the 2016 Valspar Championship as an amateur while playing alongside Jordan Spieth in the final round. But he broke his wrist in a car accident the day before second stage of Q-School last year, leaving him without status on any major tour to begin the year.

    McCoy was not the only player who left Arizona smiling. Everyone in the top 10 and ties will be exempt through the first 12 events of the new Tour season, a group that includes former amateur standouts Curtis Luck (T-3), Sam Burns (T-10) and Maverick McNealy (T-10).

    Players who finished outside the top 10 but inside the top 45 and ties earned exemptions into the first eight events of 2018. That group includes Cameron Champ (T-16), who led the field in driving at this year's U.S. Open as an amateur, and Wyndham Clark (T-23).

    Everyone who advanced to the final stage of Q-School will have at least conditional Tour status in 2018. Among those who failed to secure guaranteed starts this week were Robby Shelton, Rico Hoey, Jordan Niebrugge, Joaquin Niemann and Kevin Hall.

    Els honored with Heisman Humanitarian Award

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 11:41 pm

    The annual Heisman Trophy award ceremony is one of the biggest moments in any football season, but there was a touching non-football moment as well on Saturday night as Ernie Els received the Heisman Humanitarian Award.

    The award, which had been announced in August, recognized Els' ongoing efforts on behalf of his Els for Autism foundation. Els received the award at Manhattan's PlayStation Theater, where Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy.

    Els, 47, founded Els for Autism in 2009 with his wife after their son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism. Their efforts have since flourished into a 26-acre campus in Jupiter, Fla., and the creation of the Els Center for Excellence in 2015.

    The Heisman Humanitarian Award has been given out since 2006. Past recipients include NBA center David Robinson, NFL running back Warrick Dunn, soccer star Mia Hamm and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.

    A native of South Africa, Els won the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997 and The Open in 2002 and 2012. He has won 19 times on the PGA Tour and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.

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    Monday finish for Joburg Open; Sharma leads by 4

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 8:57 pm

    Rain, lightning and hail pushed the Joburg Open to a Monday finish, with India’s Shubhankar Sharma holding a four-stroke lead with 11 holes to play in Johannesburg.

    Play is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. local time.

    South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen will have a 3-foot putt for birdie to move within three shots of Sharma wen play resumes at the Randpark Golf Club. Sarma is at 22 under par.

    Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland and James Morrison of England are tied for third at 14 under. Pulkkanen has 10 holes remaining, Morrison 11.

    The top three finishers who are not already exempt, will get spots in next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.



    Stricker, O'Hair team to win QBE Shootout

    By Will GrayDecember 10, 2017, 8:55 pm

    It may not count in the official tally, but Steve Stricker is once again in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour.

    Stricker teamed with Sean O'Hair to win the two-person QBE Shootout, as the duo combined for a better-ball 64 in the final round to finish two shots clear of Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. It's the second win in this event for both men; Stricker won with Jerry Kelly back in 2009 while O'Hair lifted the trophy with Kenny Perry in 2012.

    Stricker and O'Hair led wire-to-wire in the 54-hole, unofficial event after posting a 15-under 57 during the opening-round scramble.

    "We just really gelled well together," Stricker said. "With his length the first day, getting some clubs into the greens, some short irons for me, we just fed off that first day quite a bit. We felt comfortable with one another."

    Full-field scores from the QBE Shootout

    Stricker won 12 times during his PGA Tour career, most recently at the 2012 Tournament of Champions. More recently the 50-year-old has been splitting his time on the PGA Tour Champions and captained the U.S. to a victory at the Presidents Cup in October. O'Hair has four official Tour wins, most recently at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.

    Pat Perez and Brian Harman finished alone in third, four shots behind Stricker and O'Hair. Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau, the lone co-ed pairing in the 12-team event, finished among a tie for fourth.