Jerry Kelly eyes winning first U.S. Senior Open with home-field advantage
By Jacob Heid
STEVENS POINT – The 2023 U.S. Senior Open at SentryWorld is now less than three weeks away.
Madison native Jerry Kelly is one of the few players that will compete in their home state during the championship.
Already a two-time runner-up and four-time top-10 finisher in the event, Kelly has his sights set on hoisting the Francis D. Ouimet trophy.
Only one thing would make winning a major even better: winning it in Wisconsin.
“It would pretty much mean the world to me,” Kelly said in a video interview. “My number one goal coming into this year is to win the big majors.”
As many know, golf is more of a mental game than a physical one.
Professionally, the USGA (United States Golf Association) events test players in both aspects. Players like Kelly lean more toward tackling one area.
“It is definitely more of a mental test than it is a physical test,” he said about the U.S. Senior Open. “One of the few things I’ve actually learned through my career is that the course will take advantage of you the second that you try and take advantage of it. I still have to take that mindset of what I’ve learned over the years, and that’s why I’ve done well at the U.S. Senior Open.”
Kelly has gotten a taste of Wisconsin golf fans over the years, winning twice at the Americal Family Insurance Championship in Madison.
The 56-year-old is excited to be playing in front of hometown fans and the state of Wisconsin.
“Wisconsinites come out. They always do,” Kelly said. “I’m expecting Wisconsin to really show up for the Senior Open.”
Kelly recently finished tied for 11th in the American Family Insurance Championship at a home crowd at University Ridge in Madison from Jun. 9-12.
Steve Stricker, the host of the tournament, won his third tournament in his last four tries, including two major championships (The Tradition, Senior PGA Championship).
The 43rd U.S. Senior Open takes place at SentryWorld in Stevens Point from Jun. 29-Jul. 2.