VICTORIA, British Columbia -- Jerry Kelly managed to keep the leaders within sight Saturday at the Pacific Links Bear Mountain Championship and they looked strangely familiar to the Madison golfer.
Kelly shared the first-round lead at the recent Boeing Classic with one of them -- David McKenzie, who shot 64 to earn his share of the Bear Mountain lead. Kelly out-dueled the other on the final day at the same Boeing Classic for his first PGA Tour Champions victory and Jerry Smith (66) will join McKenzie as the two guys Kelly will be chasing Sunday in his bid for a second victory.
"Fun group for last round," Kelly wrote in a Twitter message to Wisconsin.Golf after shooting a 5-under-par 66 to position himself one shot back at 11-under 131 -- his third straight 131 total at the 36-hole juncture of a PGA Tour Champions event. "(I) need a clean day (Sunday)."
For the second day in a row, Kelly got a little messy late in his round.
Kelly had strung together three birdies in a row at Nos. 12, 13 and 14 to get within a shot of McKenzie, who birdied every other hole on the back nine with the last one thrusting him into the lead. But that's where he stayed after he failed to save par after missing the green on the par-3 16th hole only to get the shot back with a birdie at No. 17 as he did with a bogey/birdie finish over the final two holes Friday in an opening 65 that left him one off the lead.
Less than a month ago, Kelly took a three-shot lead into the final round of the Boeing Classic and held off Smith to win by a shot. He believes that will give him the right frame of mind to chase down the leaders north of the border.
"Boeing helps ease into it," Kelly said. "Rather than pushing for everything."
Smith thinks that experience will help him as well.
"It’ll be tough, it’s going to be a battle out there," Smith said. "You can see the scores are good, so there’s going to be some good scores in the groups behind us, so hopefully we’ll all be able to feed off each other like we did in Seattle and make it fun for the group and make it exciting coming down 18."