Jerry Kelly shot a final-round 3-under 68 en route to a 14-under total and a one-shot victory at the Pacific Links Bear Mountain Championship.
Trailing by one at the start of the day and playing in the final group, Kelly took his first lead after he parred the par-3 4th hole. He quickly relinquished it with a bogey on No. 5, and didn’t lead again until Lee Janzen, who was in the penultimate group, made a double bogey on the par-4 17th.
After grabbing the lead, Kelly parred his final two holes to finish one ahead of Janzen. Afterwards, the 50-year old rookie credited his news irons for an improvement in play.
“The funny thing is I switched irons and won in Seattle and played well the week after in Calgary, and it’s just continued on here,” said Kelly, who hit 15 of 18 greens on Sunday. “Some of those changes, things click and next thing you know you’re playing with confidence and get some wins.”
Janzen, following three straight birdies on Nos. 12, 13, and 14, took a one-shot lead at 16 under. But the two-time U.S. Open winner gave all three strokes back with a bogey on 15 and the aforementioned double on 17. A par on the 18th gave Janzen a 13-under total, good for a solo second finish.
Tommy Armour III (67) and David McKenzie (71) finished tied for third at 12 under.
Rounding out the top 5 were Esteban Toledo (67) and Bernhard Langer (68), who finished at 11 under.
The win, his second of the season, earned Kelly $270,000, pushing his season total to $1,121,577. He is the eighth player to win more than $1 million this
FINAL TOP 10
1 Jerry Kelly -14
2 Lee Janzen -13
T3 Tommy Armour III -12
T3 David McKenzie -12
T5 Esteban Toledo -11
T5 Bernhard Langer -11
T7 Tim Petrovic -9
T7 Scott Parel -9
T7 Rod Spittle -9
T7 Steve Flesch -9
WRAP UP NOTES
- TOUGH WEATHER: Sunday’s weather was much cooler with periods of rain, and the tougher conditions produced higher scores. The final-round scoring average of 72.208 was 2.772 shots harder than Saturday’s second round.
- BEAR OF A COURSE: With a total scoring average of 70.833 (-0.167), Bear Mountain ranks as the fifth-hardest golf course on Tour this season. It is the second-hardest among the non-majors, with the Insperity Invitational’s The Woodlands Country Club ranking harder (71.970, -0.030).
- LOW ROUND: Kent Jones carded the day’s best round, a 6-under 65. He finished T11 at 8-under.
- CANADIAN TRIO: Rod Spittle carded a final-round 69 and finished T7 at 9-under, which was best among the three Canadians in the field. He and Stephen Ames (T17, -6) are two of the three Canadian victors on PGA TOUR Champions. Victoria’s Jim Rutledge is T65 at 8-over-par.
- LANGER UPDATE: Schwab Cup leader Bernhard Langer posted his 13th top-10 and 11th top-five finish of the season, carding a final-round 68 to finish T5 at 11-under. He extended his lead over Scott McCarron (T30, -4) to $392,390.
- UP NEXT: The Champions Tour will conclude its six-week stretch with the PURE Insurance Championship in Monterey, California, held at Poppy Hills and Pebble Beach. Paul Broadhurst is the defending champion, and he finished T17 this week.
WINNER’S CIRCLE: JERRY KELLY
QUOTABLE: JERRY KELLY
“On the tour, I took 71st or 72nd last year, I’m not sure, so I was fully exempt all this year. I could have played all I wanted to. I’ve still got a top-50 exemption sitting in my pocket and I can be fully exempt any year that I want to going forward. I don’t know if I’ll use it. As long as the Sony people let me in that tournament and possibly Harbour Town and I go back to Hartford where I went to college and I play a team event with Stricker, I think those four events will be just fine with me. I’m very happy to call this my home tour.”