Kelly in elite company

MU senior John Kelly competing to make cut in Masters debut
Friday, April 6, 2007 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 2:24 p.m. CDT, Thursday, July 17, 2008

Missouri senior golfer John Kelly shot a 5-over-par 77 on Thursday in the first round of the Masters in Augusta, Ga.

Kelly, who qualified for the Masters by finishing second in last August’s U.S. Amateur, bogeyed the first and second holes of the round. On the third hole, Kelly recovered, recording his first birdie of the tournament. After birdieing the par-3 sixth hole, Kelly was at even par, a score he maintained through the ninth hole.

But over the next three, Kelly struggled.

On the par-4 10th, Kelly recorded his third bogey of the day. On 11, he double-bogeyed, knocking him back to 3-over par. And on No. 12, Kelly bogeyed again, sending him to 4-over for the day.

After making par on the next five holes, Kelly ended his round by recording his sixth bogey to end the first round at 5-over in a tie for 59th.

Kelly played the first round with two-time Masters champion Ben Crenshaw and three-time runner-up Davis Love III. Crenshaw, who last won the Masters in 1995 by beating Love by one stroke, shot a 4-over 76. Love shot an even-par 72.

Richie Ramsay, the player who defeated Kelly in the finals of last year’s US Amateur, shot a 4-over par 76 and finished Thursday with the lowest score for an amateur player. Among players making their first appearances at the Masters, Kelly’s 77 was the sixth-lowest score, with Brett Wetterich leading all first-time players with a 3-under 69.

Kelly’s 5-over was better than the rounds played by Bernard Langer and Ernie Els (6-over), Lee Westwood (7-over) and Fred Funk (10-over). Defending champion Phil Mickelson shot a 4-over 76.

To make the cut and play on Saturday and Sunday, Kelly will have to be in the top 44 or be within 10 shots of the leader after today’s play. Wetterich and Justin Rose were the leaders after Thursday at 3-under.

Kelly, Crenshaw and Love will tee off their second rounds at 10:51 this morning.

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