Jerry Kelly: A look at the man behind the Zurich Classic champion
In this day of money lists, records, rankings, strength of field, I went to cover the media day at Dragoâ€™s Restaurant at the New Orleans Hilton to get to know the person, our champion Jerry Kelly.
What got my attention last year at the awards presentation on the 18th green, in the background, I noticed a person in blue jeans, tennis shoes, polo shirt (not tucked in) and a baseball cap. This person was Steve Stricker, presently the #2 ranked golfer in the world. I am sure not too many people noticed.
On Monday, I found out that they both live in
Jerry is the volunteer assistant golf coach for the
The ten member Wisconsin Badger team consists of eight student athletes from
Jerry cares about people who serve and need assistance. In 2006, he went to the
If his game at times appears aggressive, it may be because he was a high school all-city hockey player.
While the press conference was winding down and the media had left, Jerry and a few people were hanging around. Yes, he really, really, does like the Dragoâ€™s grilled oysters and that was why he was still there.
I wanted to ask this question but I was not going to do it in front of the
Chris graduated from
We started talking about one of my favorite movies, â€œTommy Boy.” Jerry said, â€œChris was like Tommy Boy in real life, always in that character.”
In the scene where he was at the pool and walked past this Bo Derek 10 type, he said â€œDo you know where the weight room is? I will check it out.” If you can picture Chris in that muscular walk with his physique, Jerry acted out the walk in the Hilton. He said that Chris did this all the time.
Sadly, we talked about right before Chris died in December of 1997. Jerry saw Chris in December in
â€œYou know, I was going to get him to play in the AT&T Pro-Am. He was a really good golfer. He would have been the next Bill Murray.” Chris would have loved it. Chris Farley was my favorite comedic actor, and I can only imagine what could have been.
You go to media day wanting to get to know the person behind the title, 2009 Zurich Classic Champion. I can say that I know Jerry Kelly a little more than I ever imagined, and I left the New Orleans Hilton impressed.
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