Purdy Kelly Double Back after Making Cut


HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. -- Ted Purdy got a call from his father, Jim, on Friday afternoon congratulating him on making the cut.
Purdy wasn't sure if his father's information was reliable. The runner-up at last year's MCI Classic, Purdy had left the course at 5-over par. He was three shots off the projected cut and felt little chance of playing the weekend at Harbour Town Golf Links.
But it turned out his father was right.
Because of some strange doings, including a late triple bogey from Mark Hensby and a last-hole double from Scott Simpson, Purdy and all the others at 5-over 147 were suddenly in the field.
'I've never seen a cut move that much,' Purdy said Saturday.
And you may never see the Purdy family move as much as they did when they confirmed Jim Purdy's call.
Purdy said he and his family - wife Arlene and son Sam, who turns 2 in June - got off their plane bound for Phoenix 'right before the doors shut.' With no other plane seats available, they rented a car at the Atlanta airport and drove five hours back to Hilton Head.
Purdy's bags, including his tour clubs, already were stored on the plane and took off for Arizona as scheduled. Purdy called his friend Mark Hensby to ask if he had a spare driver and putter.
'Well, mate, you can have my whole set,' said Hensby, who tied for fifth at the Masters but missed the cut here at 8-over.
Purdy toured Harbour Town on Saturday morning, his caddie carrying a white Ping golf bag with Hensby's name on the leather. The black windshirt, windpants and shoes also were Hensby's.
The Purdys needed a lot more to spend the weekend on this resort island. Pulling in around 1 a.m., Purdy hit a 24-hour Walgreens for the gray golf shirt he wore in the third round, along with some supplies for his wife and son. They hit an MCI Heritage merchandise tent for their third-round outfits.
Jerry Kelly got the news as he was flying home. The tour veteran had dropped Chris Smith off in Indianapolis and had his rental jet pointed toward his Wisconsin home when he learned he had more golf to play.
Kelly was tied for 87th and also figured his time at Harbour Town was done. Plus, his 6-year-old son Cooper had an important baseball practice five minutes from the Wisconsin airfield that Kelly didn't want to miss.
So when he got the call that he was tied for 71st, he was skeptical, too.
Kelly's party waited in Indianapolis while things got sorted out, then flew the 90 minutes back to Savannah-Hilton Head Airport.
'It wasn't too bad,' he said. 'We had a tail wind.'
Kelly said he's not the kind who will hang around tournaments waiting for others to screw up so he can keep playing. A few years ago he had left the Western Open in Lemont, Ill., and was halfway home before the call came to turn around, he said.
But Kelly was glad to have the extra two rounds to work out the swing problems that have followed him this season. He's had only one top 10 finish, his tie for eighth at the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic in January.
Kelly finished with a 73 on Saturday.
Purdy and Kelly expect to make money on the turnaround. Last place at the MCI Heritage last year paid $9,456.
Purdy couldn't help feeling hopeful about the cut reprieve. After all, Harbour Town may owe him something after his five-hole playoff loss to Stewart Cink that ended with a controversial ruling in Cink's favor.
'I thought it might be a sign,' he said. 'On this golf course, comebacks are possible apparently.'
Cink trailed Purdy by nine strokes when last year's final round started. This time, though, it was not to be. Purdy had four bogeys on his final six holes for a 76, far behind leader Darren Clarke.
His clubs and luggage are supposed to be flying back in time for Sunday's final round.
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - MCI Heritage
  • Full Coverage - MCI Heritage
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