Monday, January 22, 2018

Last-hole turnaround sees Kelly overtake 
Montgomerie on US Seniors Tour
Two holes after hitting one into lava rocks, Jerry Kelly found himself in the winner’s circle again.
Kelly was one shot back of Colin Montgomerie on the final hole in Saturday’s final round at the US Senior Tour's Mitsubishi Electric Championship but drained an 18-footer for birdie to give himself a chance at the title. The clutch putt was followed by Montgomerie missing a 6-footer for par, a surprising two-shot flip that swung the PGA Tour Champions’ season opener right to Kelly.
It was the 51-year-old’s third victory on the PGA Tour Champions (and third since August). His last PGA Tour win arrived in 2009, but with Saturday’s victory arriving in Hawaii, Kelly couldn’t help but fondly recall a different PGA Tour win: his 2002 triumph at the Sony Open in Hawaii.
“I love the islands,” Kelly said. “I appreciate Hawaii so much. To have another win here since 2002, that’s what feels best.”
It only felt that way after he overcame a potential disaster late. Kelly drove well right into lava rocks on the par-4 16th at Hualalai, a mistake that forced him to take an unplayable lie and penalty. That led to a bogey after 24 consecutive holes without one, and Montgomerie moved into the lead.
“I’m not expecting to drive it out of play,” Kelly said. “I went for the overswing. I tried to clear (the bunkers just right of the fairway) and left it out.”
But the 54-year-old Scot made a mistake himself off the tee at the par-4 18th, knocking one into a fairway bunker. Montgomerie airmailed the green on the approach on his way to his costly closing bogey that left him with a 3-under 69.
Montgomerie began the round two shots in front, but his 17-under 199 total would keep him short of the title. Instead, Kelly’s closing 6-under 66 did the trick in pushing him to the winning 18-under 198 total.
The Mitsubishi Electric Championship was a limited-field event that included winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.
David Toms placed third at 16 under, with Miguel Angel Jimenez fourth at 15 under and Kirk Triplett fifth at 14 under. Bernhard Langer, coming off a seven-win season, began his 2018 with a T-16 at 10 under. 





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