Fans of professional golf in Wisconsin have focused mostly on Edgerton native Steve Stricker for the last couple of years. After struggling for a few seasons, Stricker resurrected his game and has been near the top of the earnings and Fed Ex standings, ultimately gaining a spot on last year’s winning U.S. Ryder Cup team. Nearly lost in all the attention paid to Stricker has been the game of fellow Madisonian PGA player Jerry Kelly.
Kelly held on for his first tour title since 2002 in winning this weekend’s Zurich Classic in New Orleans. Kelly, a likable sort who has often seemed to battle his own temperament as well as the course he’s playing, played a steady tournament that led to a 3 stroke lead entering the today’s final round. But bogeys on holes 8 & 10 combined with a birdie run by Charles Howell III cost him the lead by the 11th hole. Fortunately, Kelly was able to steady himself down the stretch while Howell and others had their own troubles toward the finish, leaving Kelly to roll in a short putt on the final hole for his 13th par on the day and the tournament victory.
Kelly’s finish along with a 6th place finish by Stricker left both Wisconsin golfers in the top 17 of the Fed Ex Cup standings. It would be nice to see them spur each other on the rest of this season.