Playing in only his first event as a pro this week, former Georgia Tech standout Bryce Molder fired a 67 of his own at the Montreux Golf Club to climb to 14-under-par, just one stroke off Kellys leading pace of minus-15.
One shot further back at 13-under is Charles Howell III, the 2000 NCAA champion from Oklahoma State. Howell overcame two late bogies in his round Saturday to shoot 69.
Earlier in the season, Kelly made a name for himself when he took the outright lead into the final round of The Players Championship.
Following a last day score of 73, however, he was beaten by his playing partner, world No. 1 Tiger Woods.
Now, Kelly has a pair of young slingers who can already lay claim to two of Woods amateur records.
Howell dusted Woods scoring record during his win at the NCAA Championship last year.
Molder is coming off a collegiate season in which he beat Woods scoring average of 71.10 with an average of 70.69.
Mr. Kelly, beware, the lions are restless ' and they are confident.
'I already know I'm ready to play out here, said Molder following his round, which included birdies on his final two holes of the day. I expected if I played well I could be right there.
Said Howell of his day: 'I thought I had a really good chance to shoot low and pass everybody by a couple of shots.
Overnight leader John Cook, who ended the day tied for fifth at 9-under following a disappointing Saturday 74, explained it best:
'These guys are different, claimed Cook. They want to take your heart out and smile while they're doing it.'
Even Kelly himself seemed a bit wary when the day was through.
A lot of these guys are not as intimidated as we used to be, he said.
Nevertheless, the former hockey player from Wisconsin remained confident in his game.
'I've been in this position with Tiger on my tail, too,' Kelly said.
'I'm going to go out and play my game. If I do what I know I can do, I'll be fine... I'm still trying to put four rounds of Jerry Kelly golf together.'
News, Notes and Numbers:
*Sunday's round might just be a three-horse race. In fourth place is Brian Watts, who shot 71 Saturday. However, at 10-under for the tournament, he is a full five shots off the pace.
*Sharing joint-fifth with Cook are six others, including Brian Gay and Tim Herron.
Full-field scores from the Reno-Tahoe Open