CROMWELL, Conn. -- Jerry Kelly has been around long enough to know he can get in his own way. He broods, he gets grumpy, and the people around him suffer the consequences.
It's never been clear whether grumpiness leads to bogeys or bogeys lead to grumpiness, but Kelly figures he may as well address the part he can control: his attitude.
"The way I came out here this week was to kind of reset the program a little bit," Kelly said after an opening-round 66 at the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands on Thursday. "And be a little nicer to myself and maybe everybody else."
So far, so good. Starting on the back nine, Kelly, a three-time Tour winner from Madison, Wis., birdied his first three holes and cruised from there, taking just 24 putts in a bogey-free opening round.
At 45, Kelly freely admits he's at a career crossroads. He missed the Masters, and the U.S. Open. He's missed the cut in seven of 15 starts on Tour this season, with his best result a T18 at the Valero Texas Open in April. Coming back to Hartford, where he went to college, he decided to take an honest assessment of his game and ask himself some hard questions.
"I've always got the desire," he said. "Sometimes I take it the wrong way and push myself a little over the top. I really wanted to reset myself, and I think the last couple of years I haven't been that much fun to be around. I haven't been that much fun to play with. I haven't enjoyed myself a whole lot.
"So you know what, I had to take stock," he added, "and you know, I'm getting older. I started missing majors, and I don't like that. What am I going to do? Am I going to go off into the shadows, or am I going to reassert myself and enjoy the game and try and play hard again? That's what I'm planning on doing."
(Photo: Jim Rogash/Getty Images)