Madison will always be home to Jerry Kelly, but — scorpions or not — Phoenix doesn't seem like such a bad place to plunk down roots during the winter.
Especially this week.
The 2019 Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs comes down to what happens this week at Phoenix Country Club in the Charles Schwab Cup Championship and, with one "home game" victory under his belt already this year at the American Family Insurance Championship in Madison, Kelly would love nothing more than to add a second this week because he knows what it would mean.
A victory by Kelly gives him the Charles Schwab Cup, no questions asked. In fact, there are six different scenarios in which he can jump past good friend Scott McCarron and claim the top spot in the season-long points standings.
"To me, I'm No. 2 trying to get to No. 1 and that's all there is to it," he said.
Kelly hopes that being able to sleep in his own bed in the home he and wife Carol bought about 15 minutes from Phoenix CC helps him get there. Kelly told reporters at a pre-tournament news conference Tuesday he has taken a liking to the Pleasant Valley area and hopes the feeling will prove to be mutual when he tees it up Thursday through Sunday with so much on the line.
"It does; I mean, it really does (feel like a home game)," Kelly said. "I've really taken to this town, I really enjoy it. There's so much around me down there in Pleasant Valley, I've really enjoyed our time. We haven't spent a ton of time, but we're definitely going to spend the next five weeks here, the entire offseason and really get to know it."
However, Kelly joked that he's done getting to know the scorpions of the neighborhood after an army of them paid a visit on his new home.
"I have to give a plug to the Seal Out Scorpions people because they did a fantastic job," Kelly said. "The first couple times I was here and I was black-lighting that place and found hundreds. I mean, there was construction right next door so they were everywhere.
"It was freaking us out. I got bit my first night trying to catch one, trying to pinch it and he said 'Nope, I'm going to get you instead.' You know I can't find one anymore. They've done a great job. My wife's happy with that."
Meanwhile, Kelly would be happy with another performance worthy of moving him past McCarron on the Schwab Cup standings.
This is the first time he has come to Phoenix CC with a clean bill of health. Two years ago, Kelly was slowed by back pain and, last November, he was slowed by a bum knee that led to a sore elbow and kept him from starting strong in the neighborhood this season.
"That puts me in a better mental state so I'm able to go through an entire tournament with the same kind of swing thoughts, the same kind of feels," Kelly said. "I haven't been able to do that for a long time, so it feels really good."