Monthly Archives: January 2009

Kelly Update: Eagle Puts Him 1 Under in Final Round

Troy Kelly just made his first eagle on the PGA Tour. It happened on No. 9, a 510-yard, par 5. That left him 1 under at the turn.

After a bogey-filled round on Saturday, when he staggered in with a 75 (the high round of the day), Kelly started the day with two more bogeys. A birdie at No. 3 seemed to settle him down. He had five straight pars before the eagle.

Kelly’s 75 Leaves Him Way Back in Sony Open

By now, most of you who care already know that Troy Kelly shot a 75 on Saturday. After talking to his father, Bob Kelly, it sounds like Troy drove in poorly. He blocked his first drive of the day, pushing it way right, and things never got a lot better.

Here’s the story that will be in Sunday’s paper, which is about 25 minutes away. I’m checking out for the night. It’s been a busy one here at Sun central. Lots of local stories to deal with on an early deadline night. Remember, you can follow his round by going to the PGA.com site. He’s in a twosome with Tag Ridings, teeing off at 9:54 a.m. (7:54 a.m. in Hawaii).

Kitsap Sun Staff
Troy Kelly headed south on the leaderboard at the Sony Open on Saturday.
Way south.
The PGA Tour rookie followed up his second-round 66 with a 5-over 75 to drop into a tie for 68th heading into today’s final round at the Waialae Country Club in Honolulu. He started the day tied for 16th.
Kelly’s 75 was the high score on the round and his 2-over 212 total left him ahead of just four golfers in the field of 78. He’s in a seven-way tie for 68th.
Kelly had bogeys on hole Nos. 1, 3 and 5, but righted himself momentarily with birdies on No. 9 and No. 10 (he’s birdied No. 10 all three days). That got him back to 1-over for the day. It would be his last birdie.
But not his last bogey. He also had bogeys on Nos. 11, 12, 14 and 16.
He pushed his first drive to the right, and continued to have problems off the tee all day, said his father, Bob Kelly.
“I don’t think he hit one fairway with driver,” he said.
Kelly found himself in fairway bunkers, pulled a shot into a water hazard, had to hit one shot backhanded from behind a tree after it hit a tournament spotter and the ball bounced behind a tree and another ball got tangled in some tree roots.
“So he had some bad breaks on top of not hitting it good,” Bob Kelly said. “And he was a little tight. He admitted it.”

A Top Finish Would Be Huge for Kelly

This is the same post that you can find on the Wide World of Kitsap Sports. I’m duplicating it until people get used to going to the WWKS blog.

Two rounds down, two rounds to go for Troy Kelly in his first PGA Tour event of the season.

He enters Saturday’s round tied for 16th after carding 71-66 in the Sony Open. I talked to Troy last night. Here’s a link to that story. The lowest finisher in the field will earn $9,936, so Troy’s got a chance to put decent money in his pocket.  And for a tour rookie with his status, that’s huge.

After the seven tournaments on the western swing — Troy will play in the Bob Hope Classic at La Quinta, Calif., next week — the PGA reshuffles the order and it’s all based on money won. So if Troy has some success in the tournaments he gets in (he’s also got entry into the ATT&T at Pebble Beach, and has a shot to get in the Buick Open at Riviera in San Diego) it’s going to make his life a lot easier down the road.

Of the 53 golfers who got their cards through qualifyign school (28 counting ties) and Nationwide Tour (the top 25 from the 2008 season) are also rated. Troy’s number is No. 29. I’ve been told if he can get up to No. 10 or so, then he’s going to be able to get in about any tour event he wants.

Seventy eight players survived the cut (the number was 141). Amont those who missed the cut by a stroke: Bubba Watson, Jeff Sluman, Davis Love and Chris DiMarco.

The players will be in twosomes today and Sunday. Kelly’s paired with Kevin Na today and tees off at 2:06 p.m. (12:06 Hawaiian time). Na, from South Korean, played in 29 events a year ago. He had 3 Top 10 finishes and 3 other Top 25 finishes and won $1,041,059. That ranked him No. 93 on the money list. Na tied for fourth in the Sony Open a year ago.

The winner of the Sony earns $972,000.

Kelly Closes in Rain With a Birdie for a 66

You can find this idential blog on our new Wide World of Kitsap Sports blog, but until we get readers used to that site, I’ll continue to post about our local hometown stars in the Stark Truth. Click on blogs to find the Wide World of Sports Blog. We’ll have it on our online sports front soon.

Now to the news … and it’s good news for Troy Kelly fans.

Kelly is not only going to survive the cut at the Sony Open, he’s going to be among the leaders when he tees it up Saturday.

The Central Kitsap grad finished with a 4-under 66, moving him to 3-under for the tournament. He’s currently tied for 10th.

After an opening round 71 in which he had five bogeys and four birdies, Kelly had five birdies and one bogey. He ended his day by making a 2-foot birdie putt on No. 9 — a 509-yard, par 5.

He also ended the day in the rain. The wind was picking up and the rain was going sideways, which is a good thing for Kelly because the guys playing in the afternoon might have a tough time with the tropical storm that was rolling in.

For the record, Kelly birdied Nos. 10 and 17 on the back nine (he started on 10) and Nos. 3, 7 and 9 on the front side. His lone bogey was on No. 5. If he keeps that up, Kelly’s going to put himself in position for a mighty big payday.

Hopefully, we can connect with Troy later today. Look for updates here and a story in our print editions Saturday.

Kelly 2-Under After 9 Holes

UPDATE: 1:14 p.m. Kelly birdied No. 17 and made par on No. 18 for a 2-under 33. He’ s now 1-under for the tournament and tied for 26th. The projected cut number is +1.

FILED EARLIER:

Troy Kelly got off to a good start in his second round at the Sony Open in Hawaii. Playing the back nine first, he bombed his drive 315 yards on par-4 10th hole. It landed in a greenside bunker, but teh Central Kitsap grad blasted out of the sand and made an 18-foot putt for birdie.

That put Kelly at even for the touranment — he shot a 1-over 71 on Thursday. And he’s still even after four straight pars.

Today’s technology is truly remarkable. If you want to follow Kelly’s round, go to the PGA Tour’s web site. Click here and it’ll take you to the leaderboard. Find Troy Kelly (Currently tied for 42nd) and you can follow his round, shot by shot if you wish.

As a type this, Kelly’s playing the 15th hole at the Waialae Country Club in Honolulu.  You’ll stumble acorss up-to-date information like this:

Play by Play for the Par 4, 398 yards 15th Hole
X
Shot 1 282 yds to left fairway, 101 yds to hole
Shot 2 103 yds to green, 7 ft to hole
While I was away, he two-putted for his sixth straight par. Officially, it was reported like this:
 
Shot 3 putt 9 ft 3 in., 22 in. to hole
Shot 4 in the hole
We’ll check in with updates when we can, although I do have a life. My dog’s looking at me like she really needs to go on a walk. And I should hop on that treadmill. Maybe Troy will gets some TV time on the Golf Channel (Ch. 70, Comcast).
I’ll try to catch up with Troy later today and we’ll have an update online and in Saturday’s print editions.

Linden Signs With Yanks; Interesting Willie Link

Central Kitsap grad Todd Linden has signed a minor-league contract with the New York Yankees. It was announced on Wednesday. Linden’s a switch-hitting outfielder who started last season with the Oakland organization, but wound up with Cleveland, where he was named the MVP of the Triple-A Buffalo Bison.

And Joe Posnanski had an interesting blog item about Port Orchard’s Willie Bloomquist, now a member of the Kansas City Royals. Using statistics, he compares the hustling, singles-hitting Bloomquist to slow-running, power-hitting Adam Dunn in how they play the game. Check it out right here.

Anybody for a Kitsap County Hot Stove Baseball Session?

Kitsap BlueJackets manager Matt Acker checked in Wednesday with what I think is a pretty good idea for local baseball.

He’s proposing a night for area coaches of all levels — from college to high school to legion and select baseball to junior high and Little League — to sit down and talk about baseball. It would be an informal session at the Eagle’s Nest, located at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds. Acker, also the head coach at Green River CC, says he’ll provide the beverages.

I think he’s on to something here. It’s chance for coaches to share ideas and make contacts and, well, talk about anything they want. 

Here’s some other local baseball tid-bits:

* Outfielder Caleb Brown, former Central Kitsap standout and now a freshman at the University of Washington, will play for the BlueJackets this summer. And Aaron Johnson, another ex-CK player who’s at the Citadel, is returning.

The BlueJackets will also welcome back outfielder Doug Buser, who transferred from Oklahoma to Seattle U, which will field an NCAA Division I team in 2010. Other returnees include popular first baseman Bucky Aona (Southern Utah), outfielder Kyle Baskett (Sacramento State), catcher Max Kwan (UW) and pitcher James Douglas (SMU).

After coming up short in the arms race a year ago, Acker said the Jackets have signed 28 pitchers. He knows he’ll lose some of those arms, but is pretty confident it’s the best staff he’s put together.

Acker’s also high on Chris Escobar, a middle infielder who previously played for the Wenatchee AppleSox. He’s at the University of San Francisco. “We couldn’t get him out,” Acker said.

* The Olympic College Rangers have reached an agreement the Bremerton School District to use the old East High/Bremerton Junior High gym. They’ve got an indoor batting cage and there’s room for a couuple more. And the gym is nearly big enough to hold a regulation infield. And the adjoining auxiliary gym is a good spot for pitchers to throw bullpens.

I know it’s on the backburner, but the school district, OC and city of Bremerton have talked about turning the East High/Junior High site into a recreation area. It could be the hub for the city. There’s room for softball/baseball/soccer fields with a running track and trail for walks. The city could move its parks and rec department to the building. You could keep some of the classrooms. Yeah, yeah, nobody has any money to develop anything right now. Too bad because the potential is unbelievable.

But we’re talking baseball, right?

* Two 2009 grads — Central Kitsap’s Dan Zylstra and Klahowya’s Rusty Devitt — are at Western Nevada College in Carson City, Nev. Western Nevada College is ranked 18th in the preseason poll put out by
Collegiate Baseball Magazine for Division I Junior Colleges. Zylstra figures to be the starting shortstop and Devitt, a pitcher, is expected to be used in relief and as a spot starter.
Western Nevada starts playing games on Jan. 30, traveling to Las Vegas to play South Mountain Community College.

* Olympic College, by the way, opens the season on Feb. 28 against Centralia. The NWAACC just came out with its preseason poll and it includes four North clubs: No. 2 Bellevue, No. 3 Edmonds (defending NWAACC champs), No. 6 Everett and No. 7 Skagit Valley. Lower Columbia is No. 1.

* Drew Vettleson, a junior at Central Kitsap, is the top-ranked player in the state for players in the Class of 2010), according to Baseball Northwest. The pitcher/outfielder is one of the most polished young players I’ve seen come out of the area in a long time.

* South Kitsap pitcher Colin Monagle (Washington) and shortstop Brady Steiger (Washington State), Kingston pitcher Tyler Sullivan (Washington) and North Kitsap outfielder Andy Smith (Washington) all signed letters of intent in the fall. Monagle’s ranked No. 4 by Baseball Northwest among players in the 2009 class. Steiger is No 10, Sullivan No. 31. Bainbridge infielder Tanner Bogardus (No. 49), Bainbridge pitcher Colin Feldtman (No. 64), Central Kitsap infielder Nate Roberts (No. 73), Central Kitsap 1B/LHP Casey Bohlman (No. 104) and Gig Harbor catcher Cameron Holcomb (No. 135) are also ranked.

Don’t know why Smith’s not rated. The kid is one of the fastest players to come out of the area. He reminds me of Steve Lusk, a 1969 West High grad who played for the semi-pro Kitsap Outsiders. Lusk, a lefty, could fly.

* In addition to Vettleson, Northwest Baseball also ranks the following among the best in the class of 2010: No.  36. David Bigelow INF Gig Harbor; 62. Jordan Halstead RHP Olympic; 68. Riley Crow RHP/OF Olympic;
91. Kevin McCormick C Bainbridge; 101. Blake Johnson OF Olympic.

I have no idea how accurate these rankings are, but I do know we’ve got a lot of good, young talent in the area.

Gentleman Rex Brown (Mr. Umpire) Dies

Rex Brown, the most decorated softball umpire in West Sound history, passed away Monday night. He was 85.

Rex’s health hasn’t been good in recent years. He was on dialysis the past three years.

Brown has been inducted into just about every Hall of Fame, including the Amateur Softball Association’s National Hall of Fame for umpires. Rex and his wife, Mary Jane, traveled the world as he become known as one of the best clinicians and umpire in chief’s in the sport. He was a father figure or a big brother for many of the umpires working local games today.

“No doubt about it, he is Mr. Umpire for this city and probably the state,” said Pat Westhoff, a former ASA state president and district commissioner.

Dick Todd, who followed Brown as the area’s assigning secretary and later state UIC, said Brown was the reason he got into the game as a sports official.

His obituary is attached. You can read more about Rex online and in The Sun’s printed editions on Friday.

Rex Brown
of Bremerton
Oct. 7, 1923
to Jan. 12, 2009

Veteran

Rex Royal Brown died on January 12, 2009.
Rex was born in Charleston, WA on Oct. 7, 1923, to Charles Lumen Brown and Odie Omega (Royal) Brown. He went Bremerton High, class of 1942. He married his wife of almost 65 years, Mary Jane (Flesher) Brown, on April 4, 1944.
He served in the Navy during WWII. He worked at PSNS from 1942-1980 in Sheetmetal, planning and estimating.
He had 2 brothers and 3 sisters. He is survived by 4 children, Elaine Wick (Dale), Michael Brown (Joy), Ellen Thornton (Dennis), Dean Brown, 9 Grandchildren and 4 Great-grandchildren.
He was an umpire and referee for local teams from the late 1940’s. He retired from umpiring in 1993.
He is in the National Hall of Fame for Umpires, and the local sports Hall of Fame.
He was a member of the B.A.R. He served as Washington Umpire in Chief from 1972-1981. He was on the ASA National Staff from 1981-1993, has toured the world giving umpiring clinics. He was UIC for 5 National Tournaments & 2 World Tournaments, umpiring for 2 Olympic Festivals.
Services will be Tuesday, Jan. 20 at Lewis Funeral Chapel.
Viewing:10:00 AM – 1 PM, Service at 1:30 PM
Memorials: Olympic Peninsula Kidney Center, 2740 Clare Ave, Bremerton 98310

Defense Pays the Rent in Big Games in the NFL: Looks Like an All-Pennsylvania Super Bowl

Here’s four reasons why the Pittsburgh Steelers, Baltimore Ravens, Arizona Cardinals and Philadelphia Eagles are the only four still playing in the NFL:

1)    Defense

2)    Defense

3)    Defense

4)    Defense

      Sure, an occasional pass-happy franchise will find a way to get it done, but defense pays the rent in championship games.

      The Steelers have Big Ben and found their ground game again, but Pittsburgh were 12-4 and got to the playoffs because of its championship-calibre defense. The Steelers offense averaged just 13.9 points a game this season. Because of its top-ranked defense, which held San Diego’s explosive Darren Sproles to 15 rushing yards on Sunday, the Steelers are just a win away from its seventh Super Bowl appearance. You remember the last one in 2005? Steelers 21, Seahawks 10.

Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck and running back Shaun Alexander got most of the pub that season for Seattle, but the key statistic as far I’m concerned: The Hawks’ defense record 50 sacks, leading the NFL in that category. Getting some pressure on the opposing quarterback remains the single most important factor in deciding NFL games. If you don’t do it, chances are you’re going to lose.

           With linebacker Ray Lewis and safety Ed Reed leading the way, the Baltimore Ravens are all about defense. Have been for years. Some say they’re boring to watch. I think they’re the best show in football.

        When it comes to the Eagles, everybody talks about quarterback Donovan McNabb and running back Brian Westbrook, who is the most underrated offensive player in the league. Westbrook, however, hasn’t been able to get untracked running the ball lately. No problem. The Eagles’ defense, led by perhaps the best coordinator in the NFL in Jim Johnson, has allowed 14 points or less in their last six games.

        Arizona’s won the NFC’s Mild Mild West, mostly because of an offense that includes quarterback Kurt Warner and the best receiving tandem in the league — Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin. With Boldin out against Carolina, Fitzgerald had a monster game. But the Arizona defense was a bigger monster, intercepting five passes and allowing just 75 rushing yards in a surprising 33-13 win over the Panthers. Arizona’s defense was also the difference in a wild-card win over Atlanta.

      So who’s going to Super Bowl XLIII.

      I think it’ll be an all-Pennsylvania finale: Pittsburgh vs. Philadelphia. The Ravens are a little beat up and I think Pittsburgh will grind out a low-scoring win, say 19-13. And Philadelphia, I think, will find a way to put some heat on Kurt Warner. And as good as Arizona’s defense has been the past two weeks, I’m not sure they can keep it up. Philadelphia 31, Arizona 18.

 

 

 

Tough Deal for Bree, P-I

It doesn’t seem that it was that long ago when the community dug down and helped raise over $6,000 for Bremerton’s Bree Schaaf. She was a skeleton athlete at the time, sliding head-first down an icy track. Funding for the sport, like a lot of the lesser Olympic sports, was practically non-existent and Schaaf was putting herself in debt in order to compete with the best in the world. It didn’t seem right, so I wrote a column and pretty soon, the Bree Fund, spear-headed the Bremerton Athletic Roundtable, was started.

The community made us all proud by the way it rallied and nobody was more thanful than Bree, a former Olympic High student/athlete who is driven compete in the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, B.C.

Schaaf switched to the bobsled three years later. A higher-profile sport with more funding, Schaaf adapted quickly. She won the U.S. National Championship on Sunday at Lake Placid, N.Y. Three days later, she found out that Home Depot was pulling its sponsorship of a long-running program that enabled Olympic hopefuls to work flexible schedules, while earning full-time pay for half-time work plus full benefits. It was the best thing going for athletes like Schaaf. Now it’s gone.

Here’s the story I wrote for Saturday’s print editions.

And here’s a link to an NPR interview with Schaaf that was conducted Friday.

And Greg Johns of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer wrote this piece on Thursday. I sat next to Greg at Wednesday’s Husky basketball game. The guy scoops us. Turns out he knows Bree’s dad. You’d think he would have mentioned the story, huh? Just kidding. Greg and the rest of the gang at the P-I, no doubt, had other things on their minds. You’ve, no doubt, heard by now that the P-I is up for sale. The news broke late Wednesday afternoon. It’s a shame. If the paper doesn’t sell in 60 days, the Hearst Corp., said it’ll become a Web-only publication or cease all operations.

Here’s the P-I story about the sale.