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Kelly shoots 74, but better start than in 2003

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SANDWICH, England – Jerry Kelly relished the opportunity to be in the first group Thursday at the Open Championship. Normally, an early tee time is something players wish to avoid. Here, it can help you get out ahead of terrible weather.

But Kelly had another reason why he was antsy to get out first.

On the first hole of the 2003 Open at Royal St. George’s Kelly made an 11 that sent him into a downward spiral that ultimately ended in a first-round 86.

“I thought it was quite an honor,” Kelly said of the first tee time. “I enjoyed that. I recognize the irony in it after what happened last time.”

Kelly’s final score on the par-4 first was considerably lower than 11, but still he couldn’t manage par and made bogey. He shot 4-over 74.

“I went out and split the fairway but bounced a sand wedge over the green and couldn’t get down in two,” he said.