Jerry Kelly defends hometown title with final-round 66 in Madison

PUBLISHED: Mon, 14 Jun 2021 00:15:35 GMT
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Defending champion Jerry Kelly shot a final-round, 6-under 66 to finish 14 under and win the American Family Insurance Championship for the second time in his hometown of Madison, Wis.

Kelly’s 202 (67-69-66) proved one stroke better than Miguel Angel Jimenez of Spain (final-round 69) and Fred Couples (68), who tied for second. Jim Furyk and South Africa’s Retief Goosen both shot 68 on Sunday, ending tied for fourth two shots back at 12 under.

In 2019 Kelly won the event held at University Ridge Golf Course, and it wasn’t played in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The home cooking was working for Kelly, 54, who rebounded from a bogey on the first hole to card seven birdies.

“Can’t get any better than this,” Kelly said. “After doubling the 18th hole yesterday and bogeying the first hole, I was reeling a little bit. … It means so much for me to win around here, and now twice, I’m over the moon.”

Kelly reached 14 under with a birdie on the par-5 16th. He got up and down on No. 18 to save par and avoid falling into a three-way playoff.

Jimenez led after each of the first two rounds but couldn’t stop Kelly on Sunday despite a bogey-free round with three birdies, including one on the final hole.

Kelly won his eighth Champions Tour event and his second of the 2020-21 season following the Bridgestone Senior Players Championship last August. He is already the Champions Tour’s eighth two-time winner this season; the list also includes Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk, Ernie Els and two-time major winner Alex Cejka.

Brandt Jobe shot a bogey-free 67 to place sixth at 10 under.

Tournament host Steve Stricker, who also hails from the Madison area, shot a 7-under 65 to finish into a five-way tie for seventh at 9 under.

Steve Flesch shot the round of the week Sunday — a 63 with 10 birdies, including each of the final four holes. One day after posting a 75, it helped Flesch finish in a tie for 12th at 8 under.

Hall of Fame pitcher John Smoltz turned in his best score of the week, a 2-over 74, to avoid finishing in dead last. Smoltz’s 16-over 232 was good for 79th out of 80 who made the cut.

–Field Level Media

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