HONOLULU — As Jerry Kelly does a little island-hopping this week and heads from Oahu to the big island, the Madison golfer will do so with momentum.
Kelly birdied his final three holes Sunday to shoot a 2-under-par 68 and finish tied for 45th at the Sony Open in Hawaii at Wai'alae Country Club. His 1-under 279 total was 10 shots behind Australian Cameron Smith, who beat American Brendan Steele in a one-hole playoff after both finished 72 holes at 11-under.
It might be the only appearance on the PGA Tour in 2020 for the 53-year-old Kelly, who will begin his season on the PGA Tour Champions this week at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai. He won the event in 2018 and finished tied for third a year ago, three shots behind champion Tom Lehman.
In his final round at Wai'alae, Kelly started on No. 10 and was 1-over after seven holes before finishing that side birdie-birdie to turn in 1-under 34. He played his first six holes on the front nine in 2-over after bogeys at Nos. 2 and 6 before birdieing the par-3 seventh, par-4 eighth and par-5 ninth to finish.
His $18,496.50 payday was his first check on the regular tour since he tied for 14th here in 2018. He told Wisconsin.golf recently that he will not compete in the AT&T Pebble Beach (Calif.) National Pro-Am this year, meaning his start in Hawaii could be his only appearance on the PGA Tour this year.