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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    Even with broken driver, Salinda beats Hagestad at U.S. Am

    By Ryan LavnerAugust 17, 2018, 2:52 am

    PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – With a trip to the U.S. Amateur quarterfinals on the line, and with the Pacific Ocean staring him in the face, Isaiah Salinda piped a 330-yard drive down Pebble Beach’s 18th hole.

    Not a bad poke with a replacement driver.

    Salinda’s Round of 16 match against Stewart Hagestad got off to a rocky start Thursday afternoon with an awkward tee shot on the second hole.

    “The ball came out weird, with no spin,” said Salinda’s caddie and former Stanford teammate, Bradley Knox. “He said, ‘Yeah, that felt weird.’”

    Salinda looked at the bottom of his Callaway Epic driver and noticed a crack.

    Worried that they'd have to play the rest of the round with only a 3-wood, Knox called a Callaway equipment rep, told him the issue, and was relieved to hear he'd meet them at the back of the third tee. Salinda teed off the next hole with a 3-wood – he’d taken driver there all week – and wound up in a tricky spot, on the side of a mound, leading to a bogey.

    “Then they came over and cranked the driver,” Knox said. “It was like a NASCAR pit crew.”

    The replacement driver was nearly identical – same head, same loft, same weighting – except for the lie angle. The new one was a degree flatter than his gamer, which led to a few more pulled shots than usual.

    “It took a little while to recover the mindset that we’d had the rest of the week,” Knox said.

    Match scoring from U.S. Amateur

    U.S. Amateur: Articles, photos and videos

    Salinda downplayed the equipment malfunction – “I just had to adjust, and it wasn’t really a problem” – but he didn’t play well early. After trailing for just one hole during his first two matches, he was 4 over par and 2 down through 10 holes against Hagestad, the 2017 U.S. Mid-Amateur champion who’d finally made match play after eight previous failed attempts.

    On 11, Salinda finally got going, stuffing a wedge shot to 10 feet and recording his first birdie. He followed with three clutch pars before another good approach on 15, leading to a conceded birdie to square the match.

    On the home hole, Salinda bombed his drive about 30 yards past Hagestad and had 220 yards to the flag. It was a perfect 4-iron distance, and he sent a rocket into a blinding sunset.

    “I never saw it,” Salinda said. “I told my caddie: ‘Where is that? I have no idea.’ But it felt good.”

    A lone voice shrieked as the ball landed on the green. They knew the shot had to be tight. Years ago, Stanford senior Chris Meyers had made an albatross on 18 for a walkoff victory with Lee Janzen at the PGA Tour Champions’ First Tee Open. Knox thought they’d come close to duplicating the feat.

    “Probably almost had a Chris Meyers,” Knox said, chuckling, as they walked up the fairway.

    The shot never had a chance to drop – turns out the spectator was well-lubricated – but it still was only 35 feet away, for eagle. Salinda cozied his putt to a few feet and could only watch as Hagestad’s last-ditch 25-footer stopped a rotation short of the cup.

    The Round of 16 victory continued a breakout summer for Salinda. His 15th-place showing at the NCAA Championship kick-started a three-month stretch in which he’s finally taken his game to the next level.

    “He’s shown flashes of brilliance before,” Knox said, “and he’s had the game. But now he has the consistency and the confidence that it’ll come back time and time again.”

    Salinda shot 62 in the third round and won the Pacific Coast Amateur, which boasts one of the strongest fields of the summer. Then he finished third in stroke play at the Western Amateur before a quarterfinal loss in match play.

    Now he’s one step closer to his biggest victory yet – even with a backup driver.

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    Salas (62) leads LPGA's Indy Women in Tech

    By Associated PressAugust 17, 2018, 12:50 am

    INDIANAPOLIS - Lizette Salas' waited 77 minutes to line up her 4-foot putt to take the lead Thursday at the Indy Women in Tech Championship.

    She refused to let the weather delay get to her.

    When the 29-year-old California player returned to the course, she quickly rolled in the birdie putt, finished her round with another birdie at No. 18 and took a two-shot lead over Angel Yin and Nasa Hataoka with a course record-tying 10-under 62.

    ''I didn't even think about it the entire time,'' Salas said. ''I was hanging out with Danielle (Kang) and she was giving me her silly dad jokes. So it definitely kept my mind off of it. I was really excited to be back and to finish off with a birdie, from off the green, was the icing on the cake.''

    It's the lowest score by a female player at the Brickyard Crossing.

    Defending champion Lexi Thompson opened last year's inaugural tournament with a 63, one shot off of Mike McCullough's 62 in the PGA Champions Tour's 1999 Comfort Classic.

    But the way the saturated 6,456-yard course played Thursday, Salas needed virtually every putt of her career-best round to reach the top of the leaderboard.

    The morning starters took advantage of overnight rain by shooting right at the pins.

    And nobody made a bigger early splash than Yin, the 19-year-old Californian who finished second in last year's rookie of the year race.

    She opened with five straight birdies and shot 8-under 28 on the front nine. Only a par on No. 6 prevented her from becoming the sixth LPGA player to shoot 27 on nine holes. South Korea's Mi Hyang Lee did it most recently at the 2016 JTBC Founders Cup.

    Yin also tied the third-lowest nine-hole score in relation to par in tour history.

    Her only bobble came with a bogey on No. 13 and she closed out her best career round with a birdie on No. 18.

    Full-field scores from Indy Women in Tech Championship

    ''I have never done that before,'' she said. ''I had nine putts, I think, on the front nine, which is incredible. I've never had that many little putts. But it just felt good. Everything was working.''

    Last year's runner-up for rookie of the year has never won an LPGA Tour title in her home country though she did win in a playoff at Dubai on the Ladies European Tour.

    Everybody seemed to find their groove Thursday.

    Eighty-eight of the 143 players shot under par and 54 were 3-under or better.

    And with more rain in the forecast Thursday night and Friday, the scores could go even lower as a star-studded cast chases down Salas, Yin and Hataoka.

    Four players, including Kang and Jane Park, are three shots behind.

    Seven players, including last year's tournament runner-up Lydia Ko, are four shots back. Ko was tied with Yin for the lead - until she knocked her tee shot on the par-4, 16th into the water. She wound up with a double bogey and birdied the final hole to finish with 66.

    After taking a monthlong break to recover from physical and mental exhaustion, Thompson looked relaxed and comfortable in her return to the course. She shot 68.

    ''It was hard for me to take the break because I didn't want to show weakness,'' she said. ''But at the same time, it takes a lot of strength to acknowledge that you need that kind of break and just take time for yourself, especially when you're in the spotlight like this.''

    Salas, meanwhile, started fast with an eagle on the par-5 second and finished with a flurry.

    She birdied three straight holes on the front side to get to 5-under, added birdies at Nos. 12 and 14 to get to 7-under and then birdied the final three holes - around the approaching storm - to put herself in contention for her first title since the 2014 Kingsmill Championship.

    ''I have been just striking the ball really well this entire year, and just glad some more putts dropped today,'' she said. ''I was really refreshed. I didn't practice at all last week, and I was just really eager and excited to be back.''

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    Sordet opens with 62 to grab lead at Nordea Masters

    By Associated PressAugust 16, 2018, 11:23 pm

    GOTHENBURG, Sweden - Clement Sordet opened with four straight birdies to shoot 8-under 62 and take the first-round lead of the Nordea Masters on Thursday.

    Sordet says ''I wasn't really focusing on the score, I was just enjoying it.''

    The Frenchman, who shot his lowest European Tour round, has a two-stroke lead over Scott Jamieson of Scotland and Lee Slattery of England.

    Hunter Stewart is the highest-placed American after a 5-under 65 left him on a four-way tie for fourth with Christofer Blomstrand, Tapio Pulkkanen and Richard Green.

    Defending champion Renato Paratore's hopes of becoming the first player to successfully retain the title look in doubt after the Italian shot 9-over 79 at Hills Golf Club.

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    Peterson confirms plans to play Finals

    By Will GrayAugust 16, 2018, 9:17 pm

    After flirting with retirement for much of the summer, John Peterson confirmed that he will give it one more shot in the upcoming Tour Finals.

    Peterson, 29, had planned to walk away from the game and begin a career in real estate in his native Texas if he failed to secure PGA Tour status before his medical extension expired. His T-13 finish last month at The Greenbrier appeared to be enough to net the former NCAA champ at least conditional status, but a closer look at the numbers revealed he missed out by 0.58 points in his last available start.

    Full-field scores from Wyndham Championship

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    But Peterson was buoyed by the support he received from his peers at The Greenbrier, and when he got into the Barbasol Championship as a late alternate he decided to make the trip to the tournament. He tied for 21st that week in Kentucky, clinching enough non-member FedExCup points to grant him a spot in the four-event Finals.

    Last month Peterson hinted that he would consider playing in the Finals, where 25 PGA Tour cards for the 2018-19 season will be up for grabs, and Thursday he confirmed in an Instagram post that he will give his pro career "one last push."

    The Finals kick off next week in Ohio with the Nationwide Children's Hospital Championship and will conclude Sept. 20-23 with the Tour Championship. Peterson will be looking to rekindle his results from 2013, when he finished T-5 or better at each of the four Finals events while earning fully-exempt status as the top money earner.