Jerry Kelly wins the 2019 American Family Insurance Championship
The 2019 PGA TOUR Champions event wrapped up on Sunday, June 23 after a week of activities and record crowds, culminating in a dramatic first-place finish by Madison native Jerry Kelly.
Jerry Kelly is the 2019 winner of the PGA TOUR Champions American Family Insurance Championship, outlasting fellow Madison resident and tournament host Steve Stricker and Retief Goosen in a sudden death playoff Sunday.
Kelly birdied the third playoff hole, No. 15 on the University Ridge Golf Course, to beat Goosen’s par. Stricker was eliminated when he bogeyed the first playoff hole, No. 18.
It was a dramatic finish – and the first playoff in the event’s four-year history – for a championship that set an all-event attendance record of 70,000. The championship also set a single-day attendance record of 40,000, when fans on Saturday enjoyed the competition and the AmFam Champ Celebrity Foursome, hosted by Andy North.
Kelly thanked his family, Steve Stricker and other friends, and the community in an emotional trophy presentation.
“It makes me feel great to do this in front of my hometown fans and family,” he said. “No. 1, my wife Carol over there hiding behind everybody. It feels like -- I think it's been almost a year and a half since I've won. I mean, I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for that one right there. She makes me the man I am and I owe everything to you.
“Mom, you made it around the whole way today and that was awesome. Dad was up there, he was looking down. The sun came out right as I made (the winning putt). Yep, I know he was here.”
“It was a great week,” Stricker said. “We take a lot of pride and satisfaction from this week knowing that we're going to raise a lot of money to give back to the (American Family Children’s Hospital) and all the other charities that we support, so that puts a smile on my face.”
Looking forward to 2020
The 2020 American Family Insurance Championship will be held June 5-7 at University Ridge Golf Course, with pre-tournament activities beginning Friday, May 29.
“A huge thank you to the PGA TOUR Champions, the players, sponsors, volunteers and fans,” said Nate Pokrass, tournament director. “All of you have embraced this community celebration beyond our dreams, making it possible for us to raise millions for charity. We are grateful, and look forward to next year.”
Watch this recap video of the week:
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About the American Family Insurance Championship
American Family Insurance, the PGA TOUR Champions and Wisconsin native Steve Stricker launched this professional golf tournament in June 2016. The American Family Insurance Championship, held annually at University Ridge Golf Course in Madison, Wis., features a 78-player field. Past champions include Scott McCarron (2018), Fred Couples (2017) and Kirk Triplett (2016). Championship week includes the three-day tournament, two Pro-Am competitions, 5K run/walk, charity concert and a special exhibition featuring celebrities from the sports and music industries. The 2019 event was held June 15-23 with all proceeds allocated to the Steve Stricker American Family Insurance Foundation for distribution to the American Family Children’s Hospital and other charities. More than $4.7 million has been donated to charity since the inaugural event in 2016. For more information: Web: www.AmFamChampionship.com; Twitter: @AmFamChamp; Facebook: American Family Insurance Championship; Instagram: amfamchampionship #AmFamChamp
About PGA TOUR Champions
PGA TOUR Champions is a membership organization of professional golfers age 50 and older, including 32 members of the World Golf Hall of Fame. The Tour’s mission is to provide financial opportunities for its players, entertain and inspire its fans, deliver substantial value to its partners, create outlets for volunteers to give back and generate significant charitable and economic impact in tournament communities. In 2019, the PGA TOUR Champions schedule includes 27 tournaments across the United States, Japan, England and Canada, with purses totaling nearly $58 million. The Charles Schwab Cup, which includes the Regular Season and the Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs, is used to determine the season-long champion. All events are televised in the United States, with most receiving complete coverage on Golf Channel, the exclusive cable-television partner of PGA TOUR Champions. Internationally, telecasts air in excess of 170 countries and territories, reaching more than 340 million potential households, and distributed in 15+ markets via GOLFTV. Follow PGA TOUR Champions online at PGATOUR.com, at facebook.com/PGATOURChampions, on Twitter @ChampionsTour and on Instagram @pgatourchampions.