Mizzou Senior Takes Swing at Pro-Golf

1 decade 2 years 1 month ago Sunday, September 03 2006 Sep 3, 2006 Sunday, September 03, 2006 10:52:52 PM CDT September 03, 2006 in Sports

Imagine the chances playing the best golf of your life on the biggest stage you've ever played.

"When he got to 16 I said ok we'll see what happens. And then 8 and 4 and 2, oh my God," said Mark Leroux Missouri head golf coach.

John Kelly shocked more than just his coach. This no name took his game all the way to the U.S. Amateur Championship

"I'm sure they didn't have any idea who I am," Kelly said. "But, I think that works to my advantage. People maybe take for granted who they're playing." 

Kelly isn't taking for granted the attention he now receives including a special email that taught him just how much a hot streak on the golf course can mean to others.

"He watched me on TV and was inspired," Kelly explained. "I guess he'd given up golf and I'd inspired him to start playing again. Things like that are pretty cool."

"This little boy is just struck. He's star gazed at John. He's looking straight up at him and saying 'That's John Kelly. He's signing my stuff,'" Leroux said.

The senior from St. Louis isn't in the background anymore. His golf made people sit-up and take notice. But, swinging the sticks isn't his only claim to fame.

"It just goes to show you if you keep working at it anybody can do it," Leroux said.

"I qualified for the U.S. Amateur and lo and behold people know who I am now. This isn't going to change me one bit. I'm just going to keep practicing and get better and then one day maybe it will work out professionally."

Kelly is set to play in the Masters in April the same week Missouri plays a tournament at Purdue.

Coach Leroux says Kelly is excused if he makes the cut. If not he's on the next flight to Indiana for the weekend.

Kelly is automatically in the 2007 Masters and U.S. Open.

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