This week: The 141st British Open, Thursday through Sunday, Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club, Lancashire, England.
World rankings: Stanley is 57th, Kelly 167th.
2012 earnings: Stanley has earned $2.15 million (16th on the PGA Tour), and Kelly has earned $740,444 (90th on the PGA Tour).
How they qualified for the British Open: Stanley got it based on his top-50 ranking in late May. Kelly got in as a non-exempt, top-two finisher at The Greenbrier Classic earlier this month.
Best finish at the British Open: Stanley tied for 44th (11-over-par 291) at the 2011 British Open at Royal St. George’s. This is Kelly’s first appearance.
Best finish at a major: Stanley’s tied-for-44th at last year’s British Open. Kelly missed the cut at the 2005 U.S. Open (10-over 150) at Pinehurst No. 2 in North Carolina.
Skinny: Royal Lytham and St. Annes is considered the ball-striker’s paradise on the British Open circuit. Why? With more than 200 pot bunkers spread throughout the layout, precise tee shots are required more than booming drives. So can these two long-hitting locals scale back? Driving accuracy has not been their strong suit – Stanley ranks 94th on the PGA Tour (60.2 percent), and Kelly is 182nd (50.9). Making the cut, and a middle-of-the-pack finish would certainly be feasible for Stanley, and Kelly should be content just to be around for the weekend. As for a winner, a late break in the forecast should help the American golfers not used to playing in such heavy rain and wind. Still, with it being in England, go with one of its own … and The News Tribune likes Justin Rose to win his first major.
Tee times Thursday: Stanley at 11:58 p.m. PDT Wednesday with Stephen Ames and Robert Rock, and Kelly at 8 a.m. PDT Thursday with Anirban Lahiri and Morten Orum Madsen.