Jerry Kelly Makes History At The Players Championship

The 56-year-old becomes the oldest player to ever make the cut at The Players Championship

Kelly hugs a golfer after winning a trophy
(Image credit: Getty Images)

There are plenty of storylines coming out of TPC Sawgrass this week but, arguably, the best one involves 56-year-old, Jerry Kelly, who has become the oldest player on record to make the cut at The Players Championship.

It had been a close and tight affair for Kelly, who is actually the current Senior Players Championship winner and has won that event twice. However, The Players Championship features 43 of the World's top 50, which really puts Kelly's achievement into perspective.

Firing a two-over-par first round of 74, it was going to be an interesting day for Kelly on Friday, with the cut hovering around the one-over-par mark. Certainly with conditions changing at TPC Sawgrass on Friday, the one-over score was always likely to increase.

Kelly's second round couldn't have started much better, with the 56-year-old finding a birdie at his opening hole after he sunk a 30-foot putt. Despite a bogey at the fifth, he did make a birdie at the ninth to card a one-under 35, as he headed into the back nine.

The American was looking steady, with eight consecutive pars keeping him at the one-over mark which was the currently cut line. All that faced Kelly was the tough 18th hole, which had been ranked the hardest all week. Despite a good drive, his second came up short and, after a poor chip, he couldn't convert the par putt, leaving Kelly gutted as he thought the closing bogey had cost him a weekend slot.

Kelly with his Seniors Players Championship trophy

Kelly with his Senior Players Championship trophy in 2022

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Luckily, for Kelly, when play resumed on Saturday morning following a delay due to bad weather, the cut line had moved to two-over-par, with the American making the weekend in an historic display.

Rather humorously, Kelly is paired with Alex Smalley for round three. What's funny about this you may ask? Well, Smalley was born in 1996, the same year that Kelly played in his first ever Players Championship!

Matt Cradock
Staff Writer

Matt joined Golf Monthly in February 2021 covering weekend news, before also transitioning to equipment and testing. After freelancing for Golf Monthly and The PGA for 18 months, he was offered a full-time position at the company in October 2022 and continues to cover weekend news and social media, as well as help look after Golf Monthly’s many buyers’ guides and equipment reviews.

Taking up the game when he was just seven years of age, Matt made it into his county squad just a year later and continues to play the game at a high standard, with a handicap of around 2-4. To date, his best round came in 2016, where he shot a six-under-par 66 having been seven-under through nine holes. He currently plays at Witney Lakes in Oxfordshire and his favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.

Matt’s current What’s In The Bag?

Driver: Honma TW747, 8.75°

Fairway Wood: TaylorMade Rocketballz Stage 2, 15°, 19°

Hybrid: Adams Super Hybrid, 22°

Irons: Mizuno MP54, 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Tour Satin, 50°, 56°, 60°

Putter: Cleveland TFI 2135 Satin Cero

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x