AVONDALE, La. (AP) — Jerry Kelly liked that early morning tee time for the first two rounds at the Zurich Classic when the dew had softened the greens and the wind was still lying low.
However, starting in the last group in the third round suits him just fine, too.
Kelly, who last won a PGA Tour event back in 2002, held a one-stroke lead over Troy Matteson and Charlie Hoffman after the second round, and was paired with Matteson in the final twosome Saturday.
“I hit the ball very well,” said Kelly, who shot a 66 and was at 10-under 134. “It was really consistent over two days. I made a few more putts today than I made yesterday, and I’d like to keep that trend going.”
Kelly putted with amazing accuracy in the first two rounds. He was a perfect 24 of 24 when inside 8 feet and has made a field-leading nine putts from outside 10 feet.
Matteson had the low round of the tournament, matching the course record with an 8-under 64, to share second with Hoffman, who shot a 66. Matteson’s round included an eagle on the windy seventh.
“I tell you, I haven’t had that many birdies and eagles all year if you add it all together,” Matteson said. “So it’s good to get a little round like that.”
He knows matching his second-round score on Saturday will be tough.
“The greens are going to be more dried out with the wind,” Matteson said. “And getting a little wind is going to make the shots difficult out there.
Louisiana favorite David Toms shot his second consecutive 68. The former LSU star was at 8 under along with first-round leader Charlie Wi (70), Parker McLachlin (69), John Merrick (69) and John Rollins (67). Wi offset four birdies on the first nine and one on the backside with bogeys on 14 and 15.
Kevin Stadler, Ian Poulter, David Mathis, Rory Sabbatini, and Charles Howell III were at 7 under.
Former champion Andres Romero was disqualified after the first two rounds for signing an incorrect scorecard.
Romero shot what he thought was a 3-over 75, pushing him to 5 over for the tournament. That would have made him miss the cut. Romero told officials at the scorers’ table he made a 5 at the par-5 18th. The 2008 rookie of the year didn’t remember the one-stroke penalty he received for hitting his first shot into the water, so he actually made a 6.
Seventy-two players made the cut at 1 under or better.
Among those not sticking around for the weekend were Danny Lee, the reigning U.S. Amateur champion, who made his professional debut. The 18-year-old South Korean-born New Zealander, who broke Tiger Woods’ mark as the youngest U.S. Amateur champion last year and became the European tour’s youngest winner in February at the Johnnie Walker Classic, followed up a first-round 76 with a 75.
Lee made four birdies a bogey, two double bogeys and a triple bogey in the first round. In the second round, he had six bogeys and three birdies.
Nick Watney, the former Zurich champion who had made the cut in all nine previous tournaments this year, including eight top-25s, went home after rounds of 74 and 70.
Masters runner-up Kenny Perry had a good round going at 8 under with two holes to play. But he finished bogey-double bogey for a 70 and a 5-under total.