Life after 50 apparently is going to be good for Jerry Kelly, certainly profitable. Late in his first season on the PGA Tour Champions, he has found his stride.
Kelly won the Pacific Links Bear Mountain Championship at Bear Mountain Resort in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, on Sunday. It was his second victory in his last three starts, with a tie for sixth at the Shaw Charity Classic sandwiched between his latest win and one in the Boeing Classic three weeks ago.
A quick start — three straight birdies to begin his round — and back-nine help from those ahead of him resulted in a one-stroke victory over Lee Janzen. Kelly closed with a three-under par 68 and a 54-hole total of 14-under par 199.
He hit all 13 fairways and 15 of 18 greens in regulation to a cap a week of strong ball-striking. He missed only four fairways in three rounds and hit 80 percent of greens in regulation. Throw in solid putting and it was a recipe for success.
Kelly was the third player to lead on the back nine and was the beneficiary of stumbles by Australian David McKenzie and Janzen.
McKenzie, a Monday qualifier playing only his third senior event since turning 50 in July, double-bogeyed the 14th and 17th holes and ultimately finished in a tie for third with Tommy Armour III.
Janzen, in pursuit of a second PGA Tour Champions victory, took the lead from McKenzie, but bogeyed the 15th hole, then double-bogeyed the 17th to go from a stroke ahead of Kelly to a stroke behind. He eventually finished second.
Kelly, who won three PGA Tour events in his long career, has finished in the top 10 in seven of 15 senior starts and in the top 25 in 13 of 15. He earned $275,000 for his latest victory, increasing his earnings for the season to $1,126,577