PGA Tour

Kelly grabs share of Travelers lead

2016-08-05 06:39
Jerry Kelly (Getty)

Los Angeles - Father Time isn't preventing Jerry Kelly from turning back the clock at the Travelers Championship.

American Kelly, who is four months away from qualifying for the senior golf tour, is making a run at his first PGA Tour win in seven years.

The 49-year-old from Madison, Wisconsin, was turning heads on Thursday by shooting a six-under 64 to share the first-round lead with fellow Americans Andrew Loupe and Vaughn Taylor.

"I hit a lot of good shots," said Kelly, who has missed the cut in four of his last five tournaments. "I also putted well. I hit a couple good shots that would roll off the greens, and then I would have very tough up and downs.

"I use the putter a lot from off the green, which I'm fairly good at. It's tough up and downs on some of these when you short side yourself."

Kelly has three career PGA Tour wins, the most recent coming in the 2009 Zurich Classic of New Orleans.

Ben Martin, Australia's Marc Leishman and Spain's Jon Rahm are tied for fourth at 65 at the River Highlands course in Cromwell, Connecticut while Daniel Berger and Mexico's Carlos Ortiz share seventh place at 66.

Fifteen players, including defending champion Bubba Watson and Fiji's Vijay Singh, are tied for ninth at 67.

Entering the tournament, Kelly was struggling with his game. He missed the cut at the Byron Nelson, Dean and Deluca Invitational, St. Jude Classic and Barbasol Championship before tying for 26th in the Canadian Open.

He is looking ahead to a full-time PGA Champions senior schedule but hopes to still make some noise on the regular circuit.

"I can't say goodbye. There are four or five tournaments that have a pull on me," he said. "I will definitely stick around and play those."

Kelly is not going to the Rio Olympics once the tournament is over, but three other Americans in the field are, including world number six Watson who is the highest-ranked player taking part this week. Patrick Reed and Matt Kuchar are the other US Olympians.

Denmark's Soren Kjeldsen, Germany's Alex Cejka and Ireland's Padraig Harrington are also Rio bound.

Leading first-round scores on Thursday at the PGA Tour's Travelers Championship in Cromwell, Connecticut (USA unless stated, par 70):

64 - Vaughn Taylor, Andrew Loupe, Jerry Kelly

65 - Ben Martin, Marc Leishman (AUS), Jon Rahm (ESP)

66 - Daniel Berger, Carlos Ortiz (MEX)

67 - Steve Marino, Rory Sabbatini (RSA), Russell Knox (SCO), David Toms, Brooks Koepka, Vijay Singh (FIJ), Keegan Bradley, Rob Oppenheim, Hudson Swafford, Tyrone Van Aswegen (RSA), Gary Woodland, Zach Johnson, Bubba Watson, Robert Garrigus, Jamie Lovemark

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