ARDMORE, Pa. – It wasn’t the finish Jerry Kelly had hoped for, a double bogey-6 at Merion’s 18th hole, but all things considered the 46-year-old was pleased with his opening 70 on Thursday.
It was just the veteran’s second trip around the quirky East Course because of a condensed practice week, and the unfamiliarity caused more than a few moments of doubt.
“It was a little uncomfortable with some of the lines just because I didn't know what am I in if I miss it left here, what am I in if I miss it right. So I wasn't able to do my normal homework,” said Kelly, who was tied for 21st when he finished his round.
Monday’s practice rounds at Merion were washed out because of storms and he said he’s too old to play practice rounds on Wednesday. Still, it was a solid start for Kelly, whose best Open finish was a tie for seventh in 2007, despite Thursday’s weather delay and an abbreviated warm up to restart his opening round.
“It's never great, especially this place, when they give you 25 minutes to warm-up and 45 minutes in a cart. But that's kind of the way it is,” he said.