MADISON, Wis. — For Madison native Jerry Kelly, the Cologuard Classic is personal. Kelly lost his friend Rob Andringa to colon cancer and later watched his wife Carol have a cancerous kidney removed.
"This year, it means that much more. Through my wife's battle with kidney cancer, I reflect back to playing in the Pro-Am with Rob in 2020 and losing him four months later," Kelly says. "It hits home constantly. But during this tournament week, we get to push it to the masses."
Once Carol got a clean bill of health, Kelly took off, winning the Senior Players Championship.
"There's a reason that I went on that heater," Kelly says. "In the summer, my wife had her year scans and things were clear, and boy, the joy we took out of that, that I could bring to the golf course."
Later this year, Kelly will aim for another major in his home state, the U.S. Senior Open. It will be hosted at a place with special meaning, Sentry World with the iconic flower hole.
"I love flowers," Kelly says. "Love flowers. Lucky number 7. That was such an iconic hole back in the day. I believe, I can't remember, but I thought I won about my only big junior tournament in Wisconsin at Sentry World. It was a long time ago, Lance! I'm going to pretend, even if it didn't, when I'm there!"
TMJ4's Lance Allan responds, "I'll get my crack research team on that, so yes!"
"Maybe don't tell me until after the Open," Kelly says with a laugh.
In fact, Kelly did win the 1984 Junior Invitational at Sentry World, so our crack research team paid off. Kelly says he praises Kohler, Sand Valley, and Erin Hills to all outside of Wisconsin, and feels Sentry World June 29 through July 2 will showcase other Badger state gems.
Kelly will play in the Cologuard Classic this weekend.