Finally healthy, Tacoma's Troy Kelly aims to maintain PGA Tour card

Staff writerJanuary 15, 2014 

Tacoma's Troy Kelly is tired of constant visits to the doctor's office.

In 2010, an arthritic hip limited him to 10 Tour tournaments. But after having the hip replaced, he went on to finish 11th on that tour's money list and secure his PGA Tour card for 2012.

And last season, he started feeling pain in his right knee pretty much from the beginning. By April, he was struggling to walk - and never played a tournament after the Valero Texas Open.

Now approaching full health seven months after surgery to repair a torn meniscus, Kelly will not only play tuneup tournaments on the Tour, but the PGA Tour also has granted him a major medical exemption to resume his touring career.

Because he made $32,350 in 10 starts last season, Kelly will now have 14 more PGA Tour tournaments to earn $577,828 and keep his full-time playing privileges.

Sure, inherent stress for the University of Washington product comes along with that. But so does peace of mind knowing that he is no longer in pain - again.

"That (knee) really was bothering me ... and I almost felt like I was back before with my hip because it started to affect my golf swing, " Kelly said. "I waited too long on the hip to see what was wrong, so I told myself the next time I get hurt, I am going to get it looked at right away."

Kelly had knee surgery performed by orthopedic surgeon Matt Diltz in Palm Desert, Calif., on June 10.

"(Diltz) said my knee looked like the frayed bottom of jeans, " Kelly said.

Kelly has taken a conservative approach to recovery, doing walking, swimming and riding a stationary bicycle until he was cleared to do golf-related activities in October.

He also said the break came at a good time. He got to spend valuable time with his infant son, Mason.

"It was good ... just to mentally have a break and not think about golf all the time, " Kelly said. "I came home and relaxed."

He moved his family to Lakewood late in the summer, and has been playing rounds at Meadow Park Golf Course.

His plan is to return for the first event in Colombia in early February as part of five rehab starts. His return target date to the PGA Tour is the Valero Texas Open in late March.

troy kelly


Age: 35.

Hometown: Tacoma.

Residence: Lakewood.

Schools: Central Kitsap/University of Washington.

2013 season: Made three out of 10 cuts and totaled $32,350. Missed majority of season with a knee injury.

World ranking heading into 2014: 596th.

Caddie: Ryan Kelly.

Swing instructor: Bob Kelly, Ken Kubitz.

In the bag: Cleveland 588 custom driver, Cleveland Launcher DST 3-wood, Adams Idea hybrids (3-iron, 4-iron), Cleveland CG7 irons, Cleveland 588 RTX wedges, Odyssey Versa putter, Titleist Pro V1x golf balls.

Endorsements: Cleveland Golf, Titleist, Cutter & Buck,

Five to thrive in: Valero Texas Open, March 27-30, TPC San Antonio, San Antonio; Shell Houston Open, April 3-6, Golf Club of Houston, Humble, Texas; HP Byron Nelson Championship, May 15-18, TPC Four Seasons Resort, Irving, Texas; The Greenbrier Classic, July 3-6, The Old White TPC, White Sulphur Springs, W.Va.; John Deere Classic, July 10-13, TPC Deere Run, Silvis, Ill.

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