U.S. SENIOR OPEN
Kelly squanders, regains lead
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.
The play of the day came from a kid who slid into the rough to grab an errant tee shot.
The comeback of the day came from the man who led by three, watched it all slip away, then steeled himself in time to climb back to the top.
Just another crazy afternoon at the hard-to-read Broadmoor, where Jerry Kelly shot 1-over 71 on Saturday to finish the third round of the U.S. Senior Open in the same spot he started — atop the leaderboard with a one-shot advantage.
“Did it unnerve me a little bit?” Kelly said about watching his lead disappear. “Yeah, absolutely.”
But he made a 6-foot slider to save par on No. 18, finish at 4-under 206 and preserve a one-shot lead over David Toms, who stayed far from the madness and shot a 66 to climb from a tie for 10th to second.
Behind Toms — nothing but chaos.
It began when Kelly took three putts to get down from inside of two feet on No. 12 — his first putt going airborne above the roughed-up poa annua turf and his second taking a 180-degree spin around the cup before bounding out.
Shortly after making double-bogey there, Kelly’s three-shot lead morphed into a one-shot deficit to his old college teammate, Tim Petrovic, who nearly holed out from the fairway on 14 for a birdie that briefly got him to 5-under.
But Petrovic’s lead didn’t last long. He bogeyed No. 15. Then, on No. 17, he blocked his tee shot right and it bounded down the fairway into the right rough where an amped-up kid couldn’t believe his luck — sprinting into the grass and going into a full baseball slide to grab the ball.
Chastened by the marshal, the kid gave the ball back. Petrovic took a drop and had to pitch out from behind the trees en route to another bogey.
“Next time, kick it that way,” he joked with the kid, pointing toward the fairway, and trying to lighten the mood.
“I didn’t want to make him feel like it was OK to do that, but it’s not the end of the world, either,” Petrovic said. “Only a major. No big deal. Same thing I said to my caddie after the round.”
Petrovic also bogeyed No. 18 and finished with a 71, tied with Kirk Triplett (68) two shots out of the lead.
Another shot back are Brandt Jobe (66), Paul Goydos (70) and Miguel Angel Jimenez (73), who came into the round one shot behind Kelly but didn’t sink a putt longer than 5 feet. His only birdie came on a chip-in from the side of the 15th green.
Ryu takes 3-stroke lead
So Yeon Ryu sees another major championship in reach and a spot in history in sight. She knows what she has to do, and she took a big step Saturday.
Ryu broke away on the closing holes at Kemper Lakes to take a three-stroke lead in the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.
The 28-year-old South Korean star birdied the 14th and 15th holes to jump ahead of Canadian Brooke Henderson and finished with a birdie on 18. She shot a 5-under 67 on another scorching afternoon to get to 11-under 205 and move closer to her third major victory.
Henderson was second. She bogeyed Nos. 14 and 16 in a 70.
South Korea’s Sung Hyun Park was 7 under after a 71, and American Angel Yin had a 68 to get to 6 under.
Ryu won the 2011 U.S. Women’s Open and 2017 ANA Inspiration for her major victories. Adding the Women’s PGA would be quite the way to cap her birthday week after she turned 28 on Friday.
“Winning this tournament is going to be huge because I never really dreamed about becoming a Grand Slammer,” she said. “But after I won the ANA Inspiration, I started to dream about becoming a Grand Slammer. For that, I need to definitely win this tournament, and right now, I’m in pretty good position to achieve another dream so I really want to make it.”
She also won the Meijer LPGA Classic two weeks ago in Michigan for her sixth LPGA Tour victory. And she’s in a good spot at Kemper Lakes despite the brutal weather. After heavy rain soaked the course earlier in the week, the past two days have been marked by brutal heat, with temperatures in the mid-90s on Saturday. And with storms in the forecast today, organizers decided to adjust the tee times and have groups of three start on the first and 10th holes.
Henderson — the KPMG winner at Sahalee in 2016 and runner-up to Danielle Kang at Olympia Fields last year — led most of the afternoon and was up by two strokes at 10 under.