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Jerry Kelly defends decision to skip The Open

Jerry Kelly considers the British Open his favorite major championship of the year.

And he has no plans to play this year.

Kelly has been urging sponsors and fans to do everything they can to save the U.S. Bank Championship in Milwaukee, his hometown tournament. U.S. Bank has said it would not renew as title sponsor this year at Milwaukee, which is held the same week as the British Open.

Then Kelly realized he wouldn’t be doing his part without playing.

“I had my British Open entry,” Kelly said, “and I got a sick feeling in my stomach and I’d miss Milwaukee and it would be the last one. And it better not to be the last one. How can I call out all these people without backing it up myself?”

Kelly has not played in Milwaukee the last two years because he was eligible for the British Open. In the meantime, he criticized Fred Funk and Kenny Perry in recent years for not playing the British when they were eligible.

European Tour member Alastair Forsyth criticized Kelly last week for skipping golf’s oldest championship.

Kelly wasn’t sure who Forsyth was, nor did he care what anyone thought.

“It’s all about Milwaukee. It’s all about securing a title sponsor for Milwaukee,” he said. “It’s what got me into golf.”


May 6, 2009

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