Jerry Kelly, a native of Wisconsin, not only intervened to salvage a golf tournament at Geneva National near Lake Geneva, but he also put together an outstanding game.
John Daly, 57, informed the “Beauty and Beast” exhibition’s organizers late Sunday that he wasn’t healthy enough to participate, putting the event in doubt. Nearly 2,000 tickets had been sold for the showcase, which paired Daly against golf social media celebrity Paige Spiranac in an effort to raise money for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation and Heart of a Lion. Kelly just so happened to have a day off.
The 56-year-old Kelly, who plays on the PGA Tour Champions, then went on to score 10 birdies, two eagles, and shoot 13-under on the Player Course, which, according to Golfweek, is one of the best 15 publicly accessible courses in the state.
The fact that people were brought out of the crowd to putt before he did, disclosing the line, as part of the fan participation, prevented it from being considered an official round, even though it would have broken the course record.
Today was supposed to be my match against John Daly. When he didn’t show, Jerry Kelly filled in. Jerry made 10 birdies and 2 eagles today. It was the greatest round of golf I’ve ever witnessed. We raised a ton of money for charity and I’m not too mad with the 66 I shot. What a…
— Paige Spiranac (@PaigeSpiranac) June 5, 2023
Had a great time with @PaigeSpiranac today at a great charity event at Geneva National! @MajorEdPulido was there for the @SOFWarriorFnd and other great causes. Great job Paige! Awesome game and a great person:) https://t.co/NxiLtfiGWO
— Jerry Kelly (@jerrykelly13pga) June 6, 2023
While praising Kelly’s impressive performance, Spiranac may have cast a little light shade in Daly’s direction.
Later this week, Kelly will participate in the American Family Insurance Championship at University Ridge in Madison, which is another course on the previously mentioned list.
Spiranac shot a 6-under 66 with six birdies in her round, which was solid in and of itself. Her appearance in Wisconsin wasn’t her first or last; she also served as the ceremonial first pitch thrower at a Brewers game last season when the team unveiled its X-Golf facility at American Family Field. On June 16, she will also be the subject of a special bobblehead giveaway for Golf Night.
Kelly has 11 victories on the PGA Tour Champions, including two major titles as the Senior Players Championship’s two-time champion. At the end of the month, SentryWorld in Stevens Point will host the Senior Open for this year.