NEWPORT BEACH, California -- A week ago, Jerry Kelly was seven shots off the lead entering the final round of the Cologuard Classic, closed with a 65 and finished second, one shot back.
This week? The Madison golfer only has six shots to make up over the final 18 holes.
Kelly shot his second straight round of 1-under-par 70 at Newport Beach CC Saturday and dropped two shots into a tie for 26th place. At 2-under 140 after 36 holes, the Charles Schwab Cup money leader will have a tough time trying to catch Tom Pernice, Jr. (70), whose 134 total kept him one shot ahead of Joe Durant (66) and Scott McCarron (68) and two better than Vijay Singh (68) and 2017 American Family Insurance Championship runner-up Scott Verplank (69).
But that's what everyone thought last week, when he came into the final round at the Omni Tucscon National seven shots behind leader Tommy Tolles.
He has hit the same number of greens in regulation this week through 36 holes (23) that he did a week ago in Tucson and one more fairway (21 vs. 20). Putting, however, continued to be a bit of a challenge Saturday as Kelly had 1.750 putts per greens in regulation in the second round (vs. the 1.727 he had in Friday's opening round).
Kelly was tied for 23rd a week ago at the Cologuard Classic entering the final round after 12 birdies, five bogeys and one double-bogey. He shot a bogey-free 65 the final round and moved up 21 spots to finish tied for second behind fellow Madisonian Steve Stricker by one shot.
This week, Kelly has 25 golfers between him and Pernice and a course that hasn’t exactly given him the best vibes in the world. He’s made half as many birdies through two rounds (six) as he did a week ago when he made eight in the final round to make a run at his second victory of the season to go with his third career PGA Tour Champions win in the season-opening Mitsubishi Electric Championship.