AKRON, Ohio Jerry Kelly won the Bridgestone Senior Players Championship for the 2nd time in three years Sunday, breaking away with 2 late birdies to beat protecting champion Steve Stricker by 2 strokes.
Kelly closed with a 2-under 68, taking the straight-out lead with a 15-foot birdie putt from the fringe on the par-5 16th and running in a 10-footer on the par-4 17th. He completed at 11-under 269 on Firestone’s South Course.
” The very first significant is amazing, but the 2nd one, a lot more validation,” Kelly said. “I’m actually thrilled to go back to Sawgrass next March. That was a huge piece of the desire in winning this competition. That’s one of those excellent things that we have with our majors that we can get to go play at the peak of golf. I’m really thrilled about that.”
The 55-year-old Kelly won with other half, Carol, looking on. In 2015, she had surgical treatment to remove her ideal kidney after medical professionals discovered a cancerous mass.
” I mean, simply the fact that she’s here today,” Kelly stated. “It might not be our normal restaurant-laden place or the hotel that is our preferred on trip, but the golf course is that unique and she’s like, ‘You know what, I wish to be there for you, I enjoy that golf course, it’s really cool simply to be out there.'”.
Kelly also won at Firestone in August 2020 and finished second in 2015. The Madison, Wisconsin, gamer has 10 PGA Tour Champions success, also winning the Principal Charity Classic last month in Iowa, after winning three times on the PGA Tour.
” He made the putts when he needed to boiling down, and vice versa, I didn’t,” Stricker stated. “That’s the difference.”.
The 55-year-old Stricker, also from Madison, matched Kelly with a closing 68.
” Not truly what I had in mind, really,” Stricker said. “I was looking to triumph of all this.”.
Stricker missed a chance for his second significant success of the season after taking the Regions Tradition in May in Alabama.
” He played terrific and he made the putts when he needed to,” Stricker stated about Kelly. “He made a nice putt at 13 for birdie and then I essentially showed him the line at 16 and he made another great one at 17.”.
Steve Alker bogeyed the par-4 18th to drop into a tie for 3rd with Ernie Els at 8 under. A three-time winner this season and the Charles Schwab Cup points leader, Alker shot a 69.
” I simply didn’t have it today,” Alker stated. “I just made a lot of bogeys over the weekend. That was the difference.”.
Els closed with a 68.
Stephen Ames (65) was 6 under with Ken Duke (66 ), Woody Austin (68) and Alex Cejka (73 ).