Champions Tour: Jerry Kelly wins Shaw Charity Classic in playoff over John Huston

The win is Jerry Kelly’s fourth this season.

Although it took an extra hole, Jerry Kelly continued his stellar season Sunday.

The 55-year-old captured his fourth PGA Tour Champions title of the season at the Shaw Charity Classic at Canyon Meadows Golf and Country Club in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. He and John Huston were tied at 9 under following 54 holes, but Kelly birdied the par-5 18th on the first playoff hole to add another victory to his resume.

He had a lengthy putt for eagle from the back of the green, which he lagged to about 4 feet. He then poured in the birdie and gave a big first pump toward the crowd.

Kelly, who also won the Bridgestone Senior Players earlier this year, shot a 3-under 67 in the final round. The victory moves him to second in the Charles Schwab Cup standings. Kelly had rounds of 68 and 66 during the first two days.

Huston fired a 5-under 65 on Sunday to make the playoff. Five golfers tied for third, one stroke out of the playoff. Joe Durant shot the round of the day, an 8-under 62, to finish at 8 under for the tournament, along with Padraig Harrington, Dean Wilson, Alex Cejka and Kirk Triplett. Triplett held the solo lead after the second round at 7 under.

Marco Dawson and Shane Bertsch rounded out the top 10, finishing in a tie for eighth at 7 under.

Up next, the Champions Tour travels to the Boeing Classic at The Club at Snoqualmie Ridge in Snoqualmie, Washington.

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Report: Tom Pernice Jr. accused of multiple instances of domestic violence by ex-girlfriend

Pernice, who won twice on the PGA Tour and six times on PGA Tour Champions, continues to compete.

PGA Tour and Champions Tour veteran Tom Pernice Jr. stands accused of multiple instances of domestic violence by his ex-girlfriend, according to Sports Illustrated.

MaryAnn O’Neill detailed multiple instances of alleged domestic abuse from Pernice, 62, who is accused of punching O’Neill in the leg, striking O’Neill with a cell phone and grabbing and twisting O’Neill’s wrists.

O’Neill, now 41 — an independent sports marketer from Boston who also worked to find sponsorship deals for PGA Tour events, including Rapiscan for the senior circuit’s Biloxi event — started a relationship with Pernice in March 2015.

She shared texts to Sports Illustrated that documented one of the alleged incidents as well as submitted a recording in which Pernice allegedly admits to hitting O’Neill.

After an incident in 2021, O’Neill sent the PGA Tour an audio file that she recorded on her phone during a trip from one tournament site to another. According to O’Neill, it wasn’t the first time she informed the Tour of Pernice’s violent behavior. Pernice was disciplined, serving a 30-day suspension – reduced from 90 days on appeal – last summer as well as attending mandated anger-management therapy. He presently faces felony charges for intimidation against O’Neill in Massachusetts, and according to Pernice’s attorney they have a hearing scheduled for Sept. 29 for a motion to dismiss all charges. Pernice, who won twice on the PGA Tour and six times on PGA Tour Champions, continues to compete.

SI states in its story that it presented the PGA Tour with a list of detailed questions pertaining to the allegations against Pernice and the information O’Neill shared. In response, Joel Schuchmann, senior vice president of communications, provided a statement that read in full: “While we do not disclose specific disciplinary action and will not comment on this instance in detail, it is important to note that the PGA Tour takes allegations of domestic violence very seriously. In matters involving potential criminal activity, we immediately offer assistance in bringing forward the complaint to the appropriate authorities for further investigation and action. We also take appropriate action based upon our own investigation, including – but not limited to – suspension from tournament play as well as resources and treatment, such as mandatory counseling. Furthermore, we may take further action based upon any findings by law enforcement and/or the outcome of any criminal proceedings.”

In response to questions from SI emailed to Pernice, his attorney, Patrick Donovan, sent a statement that read in part: “Tom Pernice vehemently denies ever being abusive in any way, either physically, verbally or financially to Ms. O’Neill. Since their breakup [in the summer of 2021] Ms. O’Neill has proven herself to be a liar and a thief hell-bent on destroying Mr. Pernice. … She uses a distorted version of the facts to only ruin Mr. Pernice and financially benefit herself all for breaking up with her. She will stop at nothing to extort Mr. Pernice and unjustly enrich herself. It comes as no surprise Mrs. O’Neill would resort to a disinformation campaign.”

In June, O’Neill first reached out to SI to share her story. “I realize that I am a textbook case for domestic violence,” she says. “Not just cycles [of abuse] and the decision I made that people who haven’t been in the situation don’t understand. Why did you keep going back to him? But I am also a victim in terms of not being taken seriously by people, in this case the PGA Tour, that could have stopped it. … So that’s why I am opening up.”

To read the full version of the SI story, click here.

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Darren Clarke birdies 72nd hole to win Senior Open Championship at Gleneagles Hotel Kings Course

Clarke needed a birdie on the 72nd hole to win by just one shot.

Darren Clarke stalked the upcoming shot, trying to decide what exactly he wanted to do.

The Northern Irishmen was sitting just off the green on his 72nd hole of the Senior Open Championship at Gleneagles Hotel Kings Course in Auchterarder, Scotland. Clarke and Padraig Harrington were tied on the leaderboard, but if Clarke found a way to birdie the final hole, he would be victorious.

Heavy rains caused disruptions to the final round, so Clarke had to decide whether to putt from the fairway short of the par-5 18th or to chip it. He went with a putter, and it was a great choice.

Clarke’s third shot from about 30 yards away settled a couple feet from the hole, and he was able to knock in the short putt for birdie, clinching his first senior major title. It’s his fourth PGA Tour Champions victory, and he becomes the fourth men’s golfer in history to win both the Open Championship (2011 at Royal St. George’s) and Senior Open, joining Gary Player, Bob Charles and Tom Watson.

“It was tough right there,” Clarke said. “You know, I’ve made no secret of the fact that I wanted to win this more than anything. From when I turned 50, this is the one you wanted to win, so I could set it beside the other one. Pretty good feeling right now.”

“To join that illustrious company is very special.”

Clarke made only two birdies during his final round of 1-under 69, but it was enough. He birdied seven of the eight par 5s he played all week, his only blemish Sunday coming on the 10th hole. He fought back with a birdie at the 12th hole and then grinded out pars until his birdie putt on the final hole.

Even with the weather, Clarke was always confident.

“Yeah, it’s what I grew up playing in,” Clarke said. “Don’t make it any easier, but you know at the start, it was a bit of a battle. Pars were almost a prisoner at the very start, and you’re trying to avoid making mistakes. And I was pretty much cruising until I made a terrible swing on No. 10, my second shot. All of a sudden, I turned an easy birdie into a bad bogey.

“So you know from there, keep my head down, hit some really good shots after that again. Kept giving myself chances but the putter was a little bit cold all week as you probably saw. I didn’t really hole anything of note this week but whenever I had to do it on 18 there, whenever I had to get one up close there, I managed to do it.”

After hitting his tee shot on the 14th hole, golfers were pulled off the course, and there was a delay of about two hours until players were allowed back on the course.

Harrington, who made six birdies on the back nine, was one of the first people to congratulate Clarke after the round.

Clarke, 53, finished the week at 10 under, shooting under par in all four rounds. Clarke, Harrington and Ernie Els, who finished in a six-way tie for third, were the only golfers to shoot under par in every round during the Senior Open Championship.

As for Clarke, he said he has options as to what he will drink out of the trophy come Sunday night.

“It will be good,” Clarke said.

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Colin Montgomerie’s secret to Saturday success at the Senior British Open? Jelly babies

The only problem the Saturday magic created was a need for more candy.

Colin Montgomerie knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments in inclement Scottish weather.

He also knows when it’s time to take advice from others who also know plenty about winning big golf tournaments.

On Saturday, as wet weather made for a miserable day at the Gleneagles Hotel’s Kings Course in Auchterader, Montgomerie and his caddie tried to lighten the mood by chatting with Padraig Harrington about, of all things, candy.

“We were talking to Pádraig Harrington about jelly babies, actually, and we decided to eat jelly babies on the back nine, the best food for everything, apparently,” Montgomerie said. “I thought, oh, he’s won a few majors so we thought we would do the jelly baby trick today.”

The move paid dividends. Montgomerie finished with birdies on his final three holes of the day and while others struggled to deal with the wet conditions, his 68 pulled him within striking distance of the leaders heading into the final day. He’s at 6 under for the tournament, three shots behind leader Paul Broadhurst and two behind Jerry Kelly, Steven Alker and Darren Clarke.

The only problem the Saturday magic created was a need for more candy.

“Wow, the jelly babies worked. So we’re into Auchterarder and come into Auchterarder to buy a load of jelly babies to keep us going for tomorrow because the weather is going to be iffy tomorrow. So we’ll see how we go,” he said. “I said at the start of the week, I wanted to contend and not just compete. And now, we’re beginning to think we’re contending, you know. So we’ll see how we go.”

Montgomerie —who confirmed to reporters that he had a brief stay in a local hospital on Thursday, but didn’t elaborate on the reason — insisted he didn’t do much differently on the final few holes, aside from getting his putter rolling. And he said last week’s championship performance by Cameron Smith on the greens at St. Andrews should shed light on the strategy for success this week.

“The putter … that’s all it is, isn’t it? Hit it to 20-foot at 16th and holed it, 15-foot at 17th and holed it, and a good putt there at the last. It broke a mile. It broke a good 8-footer at the last,” he said. “But you know, you miss these, you shoot 71. You hole them, and you shoot 68. How often do we say this? How often do we say we’re going to hit the ball — everyone out here can hit the ball. Everyone can stand on the range and hit the ball. But it’s all about what happens on the greens.

“And look who won last week, the best putter in the world probably right now, Cam Smith. And who won The Open? THE best putter. That’s what it’s about. If I can hole putts tomorrow, if I can get the damn thing in the hole tomorrow, there’s a chance. You never know.”

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Photos: 2022 Senior Open Championship at Gleneagles Hotel Kings Course

Nothing like a little links golf in the rain.

During Saturday’s third round of the 2022 Senior Open Championship at Gleneagles Hotel Kings Course in Auchterarder, Scotland, the rain got heavier as the day went on.

The sound of rain thumping off umbrellas and sight of it dripping off caps were common, as the world’s top senior golfers meandered their way through the wet, cool conditions in the final senior men’s major championship of the year.

Playing golf in the rain may seem like fun on a Saturday afternoon with your friends, but it’s a lot different when there’s a major championship on the line.

Plenty of players are in contention as Sunday’s final round is right around the corner.

Here’s a look at some of the best photos from the 2022 Senior Open Championship.

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Watch: Bernhard Langer double-hits chip shot during Senior British Open

Even Hall of Famers double-hit the golf ball on occasion.

Bernhard Langer has hit his fair share of incredible shots during his Hall of Fame career. Yet during the second round of Friday’s Senior British Open, his chip shot near the ninth green is one he or the golf world won’t soon forget.

The 64-year-old was just off the green when he attempted to pitch a shot over a ridge and settle next to the hole. Shortly after he hit his shot, the ball ricocheted left after it struck his club a second time.

There is no penalty for Langer double hitting his golf ball, though it left him with a long par putt. He settled for bogey on the hole.

Langer sits tied for third at 5 under after two rounds at Gleneagles in Scotland, trailing leader Darren Clarke by three strokes.

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Aside from a few slips, Darren Clarke is standing tall at Senior Open Championship

Darren Clarke didn’t stumble, but he did slip during Friday’s second round of the Senior Open Championship.

Darren Clarke didn’t stumble, but he did slip during Friday’s second round of the Senior Open Championship at Gleneagles Hotel Kings Course in Auchterader, Scotland — both figuratively and literally.

Clarke posted a pair of bogeys on the front nine, but rebounded with an impressive back and finished the day with a 67, good enough for the 36-hold lead at the event.

The Northern Ireland native sits at 8 under for the tournament, a shot ahead of Miguel Ángel Martín, two up on Scott Parel and three ahead of Stephen Ames.

“Around the front nine today, I was so-so. I slipped. My right foot slipped a couple of times,” Clarke said. “But apart from that, I played really nicely. I’m trying to hit a lot of fairways and give myself decent looks. All the way around the back nine, I kept hitting nice shots. And could have been a few better. But, you know, it’s the way it is.”

Clarke, who grew up playing links-style courses, felt right at home on the James Braid-designed masterpiece that opened in 1919.

“There’s a few flags that were out there today as well that you just cannot go after. You’ve got to hit away from those as well. So they’re a little bit linksy as well,” he said. “With the fairways being as good as they are, as tight as they are, you can really nip one. I got a little bit too much spin on the second shot into 17. But if you’re striking the ball, you can still spin it quite a bit.

“So it gives you opportunity. If you keep it in the fairway around here, you can score. But if you start missing the fairways, it’s going to be a struggle because you’re playing for fliers and the ball is releasing as much, you never know how far or short of the green or whatever. But the fact is so far I’ve done a decent job to get them on the fairways.”

Clarke is trying to add a Senior Open to his single major, the 2011 Open Championship, when he edged Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson at Royal St George’s Golf Club. He also hasn’t won on the PGA Tour Champions since last September’s Sanford International.

Although inclement weather is in the forecast for this weekend, Clarke said he feels comfortable in the soupy stuff.

“I grew up in it. It should be all right,” he said on Thursday. “But you know, I think Gleneagles does such a wonderful job with the golf course getting it ready, it would be a shame to get that much rain but a little bit of rain and wind doesn’t hurt anybody. You have to control the flight of your golf ball, especially around here on some of those tighter tee shots.

“You’ve got to shape it a little bit and try and control your trajectory a little bit, so hopefully we’ll be able to do that over the weekend.”

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‘My first golf tournament’: Local couple brings baby to Senior Players Championship, meets champion Jerry Kelly

“It was very unexpected how much attention we got, but she is really cute, so it is not too surprising.”

AKRON, Ohio – Jayni and Ryan Hershberger were “looking for something to do” Sunday afternoon in Akron.

With temperatures in the mid-80s and plenty of sunshine, the couple made the short walk to Firestone Country Club with their five-month old daughter, Marlowe, to watch the final round of the Bridgestone Senior Players Championship.

They also brought a hand-written sign that read “My first golf tournament” to Firestone’s South Course.

Bridgestone Senior Players Champion Jerry Kelly saw the sign and young Marlowe after he compiled a four-day score of 11-under-par 269 and met with the family.

Kelly handed the Hershberger family his hat that he wore Sunday, posed for pictures and even held young Marlowe, who wore a shirt that read “Little Wonder.”

“I got her smiling,” Kelly said. “She is cute.”

Kelly also signed the hat and the sign, which came from the inside of a Pampers box.

When asked when was the last time he held a baby that little, Kelly said with a laugh: “Yeah, that would be 22 years ago, almost 23 years ago, yes. Nieces and nephews, things like that, but no grandkids. “Soon, I hope.”

Ryan Hershberger said the “My first golf tournament” sign idea came from his mother.

“We love the tournament that comes here every year,” Ryan Hershberger said. “We live two blocks away and decided to come over. We are looking forward to the Akron Symphony afterwards as well.”

“I grew up five minutes away and used to come to the golf tournament here all the time with my parents,” Ryan Hershberger said. “Now, we have this one so we wanted to share the tradition with her.

“… This is very memorable for sure, especially getting to meet the one who wins the whole tournament. To have that moment with our daughter is definitely something we can treasure forever.”

“It will be fun to show her things that she didn’t even know she was experiencing,” Jayni Hershberger said. “When she gets older, it will be fun to show her ‘Yeah, you met that guy.'”

Marlowe Hershberger smiled as her parents spoke and fiddled around with her new toy, a signed Jerry Kelly hat.

“It was very unexpected how much attention we got, but she is really cute, so it is not too surprising,” Jayni Hershberger said with a laugh.

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Photos: Bridgestone Senior Players Championship at Firestone CC

Players appear to be enjoying themselves at the fourth and penultimate senior major of the season. 

Steve Stricker held the trophy over his head at the 2021 Bridgestone Senior Players Championship and is one of the 80 in the field for the 2022 event at Firestone Country Club.

Stricker is defending his championship in the last Senior Players Championship with Bridgestone as the main sponsor. The 2023 tournament will be sponsored by Kaulig Companies.

Stricker led wire-to-wire in winning the 2021 tournament and endured a life-threatening illness in the months that followed.

Who will win the final Bridgestone Senior Players Championship? It’s up for grabs, but players appear to be enjoying themselves at the fourth and penultimate senior major of the season.

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Can Steven Alker add another senior major? He’s off to a fast start at the Senior Players at Firestone

Alker has four PGA Tour Champions victories, including the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship in 2022.

New Zealander Steven Alker is enjoying playing golf at Firestone Country Club for the first time.

Alker spoke Friday about the first time he visited Akron and walked the famed South Course — as a spectator in the late 1990s.

“Funny enough, a buddy of mine, Phil Tataurangi, who used to play the [PGA] Tour, I think he played here a couple times in the World event,” Alker said Friday after posting a 4-under 66 in the second round of the Bridgestone Senior Players Championship.

“So, followed him around a couple days and I knew the layout and I’ve seen the golf course, but in terms of playing it, no. I’m loving it. You’ve just got to golf your ball.”

Alker was playing the Canadian Tour at the time and said he drove down to Akron and spent a couple of days walking the grounds of Firestone.

Alker, 50, left Firestone on Friday in a tie for first with Tim Petrovic, Alex Cejka and Joe Durant at 6-under through the first two days of the Bridgestone Senior Players.

“It’s nice to have a bogey-free round at Firestone,” Alker said. “It’s that type of golf course, you’ve just got to keep going. But kind of everything, drove it in the fairway for the most part and hit a lot of greens except for the last few. I scrambled nicely the last couple holes. Overall, just a solid day. Kind of kept my nose clean and haven’t done too much wrong. A few more putts would be nice, but yeah, at Firestone, just fairways and greens around here.”

More from Firestone Country Club: ‘Whole trip formed me’: Risky journey to flee Communism gave golfer Alex Cejka his fight

Alker has won four PGA Tour Champions victories — the TimberTech Championship during the 2020-21 season, and the Rapiscan Systems Classic, the Insperity Invitational the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship in 2022.

He also has seven international wins — the Fiji Open in 1995, the Tahiti Open and the Queensland Open (Australia) in 1996, the South Australian Open (Australia) in 1997 and the McDonald’s PEI Challenge (Canada), the Bayer Championship (Canada) and the PEI Challenge (Canada) in 2000.

Alker is also enjoying playing in a field of Hall of Fame golfers on the Champions Tour.

“Just getting comfortable in this company, I think that’s the biggest thing,” Alker said. “Just like learning to play my game. It’s been hard to watch these guys but just stay in my skin and play my game. And then learning the courses, these are all new. I like playing new courses, it kind of gets me up and going. So just everything, to travel to different places, just the whole package. It’s been fun.

“… I hadn’t played with a lot of these guys when I was on Tour or Europe or anything. So [Steve] Stricker, Vijay [Singh], Ernie [Els] and all those guys, I hadn’t played with them before. Just getting comfortable playing with them. And they’re super guys. Maybe get a little bit older and soften up, loosen up a little bit, I don’t know, but they’re very approachable and it’s a lot of fun.”

Michael Beaven can be reached at mbeaven@thebeaconjournal.com. Follow Beaven on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MBeavenABJ.

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