Pictured: Louis Kelly, Burlington Country Club

RINGOES, N.J. – Louis Kelly, assistant golf professional at Burlington Country Club fired a 6-under par 65 on Tuesday in the second round of the 102nd New Jersey Open Championship Presented by Donnelly Industries to lead the field by one.

“I think the best is yet to come for me tomorrow,” reflected Kelly. “I'm excited about that, but it's nice to get a low one (round) under the belt. I’ve been playing really well this year, so we'll see what happens tomorrow.”

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Kelly, 29, tied the course record in relation to par. He collected seven birdies and just one bogey.

“I feel like I have a great game plan." If I can get some putts to fall, I think I'll be ok,” said Kelly. “This course sets up well for me in my length, which is nice. I'm swinging it good, I just need to need to limit the mistakes and we’ll be ok.”

Three competitors in Max O’Hagan, Jason Gore and Bill Hook are all one stroke behind Kelly. After an opening round 1-over par 72, O’Hagan, 24, turned in a 5-under par 66 to surge into second place.

“The putter finally heated up a bit, which was nice,” explained O’Hagan. “My approach play as well was really nice. I put myself in a lot of good positions to be able to still be aggressive with putts, which helps around here, it’s very slippery going downhill. I'm very happy with it.”

Gore, an NJPGA Life Member and USGA staff member remained consistent, carding his second consecutive round of 69 (-2).

“It was pretty solid,” said Gore. “Nothing really was on point. I drove it a little better today but not quite as good as I'd like. We have one more day tomorrow and hopefully we get the putter fired up a little bit again and see what happens.”

 

 

Rounding out the contingent at 4-under par for the tournament, Hook, head golf professional at Knickerbocker Country Club shot a 3-under par 68. His round was highlighted by four birdies.

After opening the championship with a 7-over par 79, Cole Ekert, 19, bounced back on Tuesday, shooting a 6-under par 65. His round was highlighted by seven birdies and the incoming sophomore at the University of Richmond heads into the final round in a tie for 14th.

“Yesterday my swing was really out of whack,” recalled Ekert. “I managed it quite well. I was one over though 16 holes and then made an absolute mess of 11 and 12. I wasn't too happy with how I played yesterday, but for the most part, I was glad about how I managed my D-minus swing. I went to the range after the round yesterday, worked on some things, kind of figured out what was a little off, and definitely hit it a bit better today."

Following completion of play on Tuesday, a cut of 40 players and ties was made and will advance to the final round of stroke play on Wednesday. The final round of the 102nd Open Championship Presented by Donnelly Industries will begin at 8:00 a.m. The leading group, which features Kelly and O’Hagan will tee off on No. 1 at 9:30 a.m.

Kelly and O'Hagan will be apart of the NJSGA’s ‘Featured’ Group, which will highlight their 1st and 10th holes on Facebook Live. Follow @NJSGA1900 on Facebook to follow along. 

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