Jerry Kelly, Steve Stricker, 2019 U.S. Senior Open

Jerry Kelly and Steve Stricker walk up the 18th hole during the final round at the 2019 U.S. Senior Open. Stricker won with Kelly finishing tied for second.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Jerry Kelly and Steve Stricker account for half of the last six major championship winners on the PGA Tour Champions, so the Madison golfers have a good idea how to reel in a big one on the senior circuit.

And this week at The Regions Tradition, they are halfway toward bagging another.

Stricker, who won this major the last time it was played in 2019, shot a 3-under-par 69 during Friday's second round and joined Kelly (70), Germany's Alex Cejka (69) and first-round leader Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland (71) atop a crowded leaderboard at 7-under 137 in the first major of the 2021 season. Alabama's Dicky Pride (69) was tied for fifth at 6-under 138 with South Africa's Ernie Els (69) and Canadian Stephen Ames (71) on a day that finished with 15 other golfers within five shots of the lead with 36 holes to go.

"Yeah, I'm right there," Stricker told reporters after making his fourth birdie of the day on the final hole ultimately gave him a share of the lead and a spot in Saturday's final group with Kelly and Cejka. "I didn't do anything dumb today, just hung around. ... We're only halfway home, so we have a weekend to go. Someone's going to probably bust out of this pack, I would imagine.

"The wind is supposed to switch directions for the weekend, so that will shake things up probably a little bit, too."

Stricker, whose resume also includes a second PGA Tour Champions major at the 2019 U.S. Senior Open, hasn't exactly been shaking up the two statistical categories usually reflective of a guy holding a share of the 36-hole lead.

The U.S. Ryder Cup captain has hit only 17 of 26 fairways through two rounds, tied for 52nd in the 81-golfer field. He has hit 23 of 36 greens in regulation, which ties him for 29th.

"It's been a struggle the first couple of days with the wind condition, I feel like," Stricker said of the northerly winds that blew 10-18 mph. "Our whole group kind of struggled a little bit. ... We had some good up-and-downs and I kept the round going by getting some of these good up-and-downs. But that wind has made it tricky on club selection; you feel like it's one way and it's blowing another. It's been hard at times to hit some really quality iron shots."

Kelly, meanwhile, was a little more precise with his iron play, hitting 14 of 18 greens Friday to make him 29-for-36 for the week, good for a tie for third. His 1.69 putts per greens hit in regulation ranks him eighth in the field this week.

"I hit the ball pretty solid myself," said Kelly, who won the only PGA Tour Champions major contested in 2020 at the Bridgestone Senior Players Championship. "I hit it better (Friday), but I didn't make as many putts. I mean, it was just kind of working your way into the weekend. I feel good.

"Try to conserve a little bit, my first four-day event. Old man's getting tired. So we just got to get ourselves in position tomorrow, and then hopefully be able to pull something out at the end."

PGA Tour Champions: Madison's Jerry Kelly, Steve Stricker at Regions Tradition Championship | Second-round results (Birmingham, Ala.)

Pos. Player Total Thru Today R1 R2 R3 R4 Scores
Wisconsin leaderboard
T1 Jerry Kelly -7 F -2 67 70 -- -- 137
T1 Steve Stricker -7 F -3 68 69 -- -- 137
Full leaderboard
T1 Alex Cejka -7 F* -3 68 69 -- -- 137
T1 Jerry Kelly -7 F -2 67 70 -- -- 137
T1 Steve Stricker -7 F -3 68 69 -- -- 137
T1 Darren Clarke -7 F -1 66 71 -- -- 137
T5 Dicky Pride -6 F* -3 69 69 -- -- 138
T5 Ernie Els -6 F -3 69 69 -- -- 138
T5 Stephen Ames -6 F* -1 67 71 -- -- 138
T8 Bernhard Langer -5 F* -3 70 69 -- -- 139
T8 Joe Durant -5 F* -2 69 70 -- -- 139
T8 Woody Austin -5 F -3 70 69 -- -- 139
11 Doug Barron -4 F* -2 70 70 -- -- 140
T12 Robert Karlsson -3 F* -2 71 70 -- -- 141
T12 John Senden -3 F -1 70 71 -- -- 141
T12 Retief Goosen -3 F -5 74 67 -- -- 141
T15 David Toms -2 F* -1 71 71 -- -- 142
T15 David McKenzie -2 F -2 72 70 -- -- 142
T15 Scott Parel -2 F 1 69 73 -- -- 142
T15 Rod Pampling -2 F E 70 72 -- -- 142
T15 Tim Herron -2 F* 1 69 73 -- -- 142
T20 John Daly -1 F -2 73 70 -- -- 143
T20 Cameron Beckman -1 F E 71 72 -- -- 143
T20 Brett Quigley -1 F -2 73 70 -- -- 143
T20 Stephen Leaney -1 F -5 76 67 -- -- 143
T24 Kenny Perry E F* -2 74 70 -- -- 144
T24 Bob Estes E F 1 71 73 -- -- 144
Bob Estes -1 71 -- -- -- 71
T26 Michael Allen 1 F 1 72 73 -- -- 145
T26 Billy Andrade 1 F E 73 72 -- -- 145
T26 Glen Day 1 F 2 71 74 -- -- 145
T26 Miguel Angel Jiménez 1 F* 2 71 74 -- -- 145
T26 Kirk Triplett 1 F 4 69 76 -- -- 145
T26 Paul Broadhurst 1 F* 1 72 73 -- -- 145
T26 Mike Weir 1 F 5 68 77 -- -- 145
T26 Paul Goydos 1 F* 4 69 76 -- -- 145
T26 Scott McCarron 1 F -2 75 70 -- -- 145
T26 Marco Dawson 1 F* E 73 72 -- -- 145
T26 Tom Gillis 1 F* 3 70 75 -- -- 145
37 Scott Verplank 2 F 1 73 73 -- -- 146
T38 Corey Pavin 3 F* 3 72 75 -- -- 147
T38 Colin Montgomerie 3 F* 2 73 74 -- -- 147
T38 John Huston 3 F 4 71 76 -- -- 147
T38 Ken Tanigawa 3 F 3 72 75 -- -- 147
T38 Duffy Waldorf 3 F 4 71 76 -- -- 147
T38 Tim Petrovic 3 F* 2 73 74 -- -- 147
T38 Lee Janzen 3 F 2 73 74 -- -- 147
T45 Billy Mayfair 4 F* 1 75 73 -- -- 148
T45 José María Olazábal 4 F* 4 72 76 -- -- 148
T45 Fred Funk 4 F 5 71 77 -- -- 148
T45 Larry Mize 4 F* 2 74 74 -- -- 148
T45 Chris DiMarco 4 F 4 72 76 -- -- 148
T45 Tom Byrum 4 F* 2 74 74 -- -- 148
T45 Gene Sauers 4 F* 2 74 74 -- -- 148
T45 Jeff Sluman 4 F E 76 72 -- -- 148
T45 Olin Browne 4 F* 3 73 75 -- -- 148
T45 Joey Sindelar 4 F* 3 73 75 -- -- 148
T45 Steve Flesch 4 F* 2 74 74 -- -- 148
T56 Gary Hallberg 5 F* 4 73 76 -- -- 149
T56 Jeff Maggert 5 F* 3 74 75 -- -- 149
T56 Steve Jones 5 F* E 77 72 -- -- 149
T56 Shane Bertsch 5 F -1 78 71 -- -- 149
T60 Kent Jones 6 F* 6 72 78 -- -- 150
T60 Matt Gogel 6 F* 3 75 75 -- -- 150
62 Russ Cochran 7 F 4 75 76 -- -- 151
T63 Scott Dunlap 8 F 4 76 76 -- -- 152
T63 Wes Short, Jr. 8 F 3 77 75 -- -- 152
T63 Brandt Jobe 8 F E 80 72 -- -- 152
T63 Spike McRoy 8 F 2 78 74 -- -- 152
T63 Tommy Tolles 8 F* 5 75 77 -- -- 152
T68 David Frost 9 F* 7 74 79 -- -- 153
T68 Frank Lickliter II 9 F 4 77 76 -- -- 153
T68 Tom Kite 9 F 2 79 74 -- -- 153
T68 Steve Pate 9 F* 4 77 76 -- -- 153
T72 Vijay Singh 10 F* 5 77 77 -- -- 154
T72 Sandy Lyle 10 F* 5 77 77 -- -- 154
T72 Mike Goodes 10 F* 5 77 77 -- -- 154
T75 Mark O'Meara 11 F* 6 77 78 -- -- 155
T75 Carlos Franco 11 F* 3 80 75 -- -- 155
T75 Ken Duke 11 F 4 79 76 -- -- 155
78 Mark Brooks 13 F* 6 79 78 -- -- 157
79 Scott Hoch 17 F* 8 81 80 -- -- 161
80 Tom Pernice Jr. 19 F 8 83 80 -- -- 163
WD Ian Woosnam E -- -- 33 -- -- -- 33

More from this Section