News & ToursApril 29, 2009

Jerry Kelly's British Open snub

Jerry Kelly's decision to forgo the British Open in favor of playing the US Bank Championship in his hometown of Milwaukee, has produced the predictable reaction in some quarters, notably those foreign.

Scotland's Alastair Forsyth, a European PGA Tour member, wrote in Scotland's Daily Record:

"I am completely dumbfounded by Jerry Kelly's decision to snub The Open Championship place he won in New Orleans on Sunday because he would rather play an event in Milwaukee.

"I accept that any individual has the right to make his own decisions but come on! This is the greatest championship in the world we're talking about and Kelly, by virtue of his weekend victory has been given a place in it.

"I know dozens of guys - and I'm one of them - who would be doing cartwheels at the prospect of not having to qualify for Turnberry but it seems some Americans just don't want to leave the comfort zone of their own Tour."

Then there was this from Derek Lawrenson in the Daily Mail:

"American Jerry Kelly never spared the R&A after taking hundreds in the first round of last year's Open, declaring the set-up of Birkdale in the driving wind and rain as 'the worst I have ever seen.'

"On Sunday, Kelly earned himself a return trip to the Open after his first win in seven years in the New Orleans Classic. Did he mark the occasion by declaring his determination to make amends for last year's failure in the world's greatest tournament?

"Not quite. He said he wouldn't be taking up his Open spot at Turnberry this year because he'll be playing in Milwaukee instead. On hearing the news, the correspondent to the US Tour's website declared: 'Now that's a champion.'

"Funnily enough, 'champion' wasn't quite the word that immediately came to my mind."

A year ago, Kenny Perry similarly snubbed the British Open in favor of the US Bank Championship.

To each their own, of course, but isn't forgoing the British Open in favor of the US Bank Championship a bit like preferring a regular-season start at Miller Park to a World Series start at Yankee Stadium?

-- John Strege

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