Thursday, May 07, 2015

Hard work pays off for Chris Kelly, the new 

Gleneagles Scottish professional champion

Chris Kelly (unattached) won the Gleneagles Scottish professional championship over the King's Course for a second time when he beat Paul McKechnie (Braid Hills) with an eagle 3 at the first hole (the 18th) of a sudden death play-off.
They had tied on three-under-par 139 in a rain-hit tournament that was first reduced from four rounds to three and then from three to only 36 holes.
Here's what Kelly, who first win the title in 2003, had to say after the victory which earned him a prestigious title and £6,000 to boot:

“Would I have liked to have played another round? Of course I would, but there is really nothing you can do about the weather.
“There’s no doubt that Paul McKechnie and I got the better side of the draw, but you still have to go out and hit the shots to take advantage of it.
“When Paul and I were warming up before the play-off, we said it was a surprise to find ourselves in this position but we’d had the bad draw so many times so it was nice to get the right side for once.
“When I left on Monday night, I knew the weather forecast was poor for the following day and as I was driving home I was thinking that if I was those boys still with second rounds to play I’d be wanting to get as far round as I could.
“It wasn’t ideal on Monday afternoon but it was a heck of a lot better than the next day and I was glad to be tucked up in bed checking the scores on Tuesday.
“I thought I would be in touching distance if we’d been coming back for a final 18 holes today but I never imagined being in a play-off.”

He had a gap of 40 hours between finishing on Monday and starting the play-off

“When I heard they’d abandoned play on Tuesday, you don’t want to admit it to yourself but I was thinking, ‘I’m probably going back there for a play-off.
“When I got up this morning, I said to myself, ‘you are going here for a play-off so get yourself ready for it’.”

On winning it for second time, first was in 2003, Kelly said:

“This is massive. I’ve worked so hard for the last month. Up to that point, I’d been working for three weeks here with the greenkeepers and working in a bar (at Dunblane Hydro). I wasn’t playing golf, that’s for sure.
“Over the last month I’ve practised for 80 hours plus a week for every week. More than I have ever practised in my life. I’ve started to lose weight by trying to eat a bit  better and I felt that if I could do that I reckoned I’d be in a better position.
“It is an early pay-off. I’m not kidding myself on that I played absolutely brilliant because I didn’t in the first round. I was really good in the second round as that could easily have been a 62 instead of a 66.”



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