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Jerry Kelly lead hometown PGA Tour Champions event

UPDATED: Fri., June 21, 2019, 2:33 p.m.

Jerry Kelly watches his shot off the third tee during the second round of the PGA Tour Champions Principal Charity Classic golf tournament, Saturday, June 1, 2019, in Des Moines, Iowa. (Charlie Neibergall / Associated Press)
Jerry Kelly watches his shot off the third tee during the second round of the PGA Tour Champions Principal Charity Classic golf tournament, Saturday, June 1, 2019, in Des Moines, Iowa. (Charlie Neibergall / Associated Press)
Associated Press

MADISON, Wis. – Jerry Kelly shot a 7-under 65 on Friday to take the first-round lead in his hometown American Family Insurance Championship.

Kelly played the back nine at University Ridge in 5-under 31.

“I didn’t really get into a rhythm early,” Kelly said. “I didn’t play the par 5s particularly well. I topped a shot as well on 6. To get this golf course at 7 without getting the par 5s, that gives me promise. It lets me know that there’s still more in there. I’ve just got to settle myself into every round and let things come to me, because I’m playing good now.”

He has three PGA Tour Champions victories after winning three times on the PGA Tour.

David Frost was a stroke back.

“For me, it was nice getting some roll on the ball. Didn’t drive it very well, but managed to make some long putts,” Frost said. “If I could strike it better tomorrow and the putter still stays warm, that would be great.”

Tournament host Steve Stricker was at 67 with Kirk Triplett, David Toms, Duffy Waldorf, Corey Pavin and Tom Gillis.

“I hit a lot of greens. I gave myself some opportunities, but nothing really close,” Stricker said. “I had a couple 10- or 15-footers, but I was always kind of in that 20- to 25-foot range it seemed like. Playing a little defensive at times.”

John Daly topped the group at 68. Defending champion Scott McCarron shot 71.

Hall of Fame pitcher John Smoltz opened with a 76 in his third tour start. The former Atlanta Braves star got into the field on a sponsor exemption.

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