April 15 –With an ace at the par-3 fourth hole and a bunch of birdies, New England golfer Jerry Kelly grabbed the lead in Thursday’s opening round of the Verizon Heritage golf tournament.
- View photos of Jerry Kelly during last week’s Masters tournament
Early surge. Kelly notched the ace and four birdies to climb to 5-under and first place after 10 holes at Harbour Town Golf Links course in Hilton Head, SC.
Kelly’s increasingly stellar play comes as no surprise to the University of Hartford (CT) grad. After posting a low-round, 5-under 67 in the third round of last week’s Masters, Kelly noted that he was playing well and expected to make some noise soon.
“I told my wife last night, it’s coming, one of these weeks something really good’s going to happen,” Kelly told reporters.
If he keeps sizzling around the 6,973-yard, par-7 course, this could be the week for the 43-year-old veteran tour pro.
The 74th-ranked player in the world, Kelly finished at 3-under and in a tie for 12th at the Masters and expected to contend this week.
“I love the way I’m hitting it,” he told the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel. “Everything is working.”
Mental attitude. Kelly said he was especially pleased with how he bounced back in Sunday’s final round at Augusta National Golf Club after flubbed chip shots led to disappointing bogeys.
“I didn’t put myself in the mentality when little things went wrong to make things snowball. That’s a change I’m taking with me,” Kelly said. “A few years ago, I wouldn’t have had a chance. I wouldn’t have come back from those (two chips). Those things would have eaten me up inside.”
Boston golfers, take note. You’re going to duff some shots, just like Kelly did last week. It’s how you rebound from the bad strokes that can determine how you play the rest of your round.
Don’t toss that club. In fact, did you know that a temper tantrum, complete with tossed clubs (a la Tiger Woods) and other breaches of etiquette could get you tossed from tournament play?
The “Committee” may take “appropriate disciplinary action” against a player who “consistently disregards” etiquette guidelines “during a round or over a period of time, according to Rule 33-7 of the Rules of Golf.
In addition to prohibiting an offending golfer from play, the powers-that-be may actually disqualify a player from competition “in the case of a serious breach of etiquette.”
The women are playing a quirky new game of golf in Jamaica this week. Read about LPGA Tour players gettin’ their Mojo 6 workin’.