The PGA Championship: Day 1
August 11 2011
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
JOHNS CREEK, Ga. — Prior to the start of 93rd PGA Championship much was made about the length of the Atlanta Athletic Club.
Jerry Kelly, who ranks 187th in driving distance, had to wonder how his game would play out on the 7,467-yard layout. Turns out, though, he didn’t need to worry.
Kelly fired a 65 on Thursday that left him two strokes off the lead held by his good friend Steve Stricker — whom we should mention ranks 116th in distance off the tee. And not coincidentally another friend, Scott Verplank, who is equally challenged in distance off the tee at No. 180, posted a 67.
‘I think Steve, myself and Scott Verplank all played practice rounds the last couple days, and we saw that you really didn’t need to overpower this golf course, that position was the key," Kelly said. "It certainly helped me. I know it helped those two guys, as well. We made a lot of birdies the last two days. We’re not natural long hitters.
"I think we took a lot of comfort in coming to a longer golf course that you don’t really have to explode on every shot."
Kelly’s 65 matched his career low in 105 rounds at 43 major championships.
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