Corey Conners Victorious At Last on the PGA Tour

Corey Conners

Winning on the PGA Tour isn’t easy. The depth of the field of golfers has never been better. So far, there has not been a multiple-winner on the PGA Tour this season.

For Canadian Corey Conners, winning his first PGA Tour event at the Valero Texas Open was done the hard way. To get in the tournament, he had to win a 6-for-1 playoff in the Monday qualifier. In the final round, Conners had to battle with not just the course, but himself, trying to put the pieces together to get over the finish line. While his final round could be described as a roller coaster at best, Conners was able to conquer adversity necessary to hoist the Valero Texas Open.

“No more Monday qualifying,” Conners said. “That’s the best deal from this. Amazing. It’s a dream come true. I won’t be as stressful on Mondays.”

Corey Conners’ Win Elevates Golf Status for Canada

Corey Conners represents the strong contingent of on the rise Canadian golfers. The 27-year old from Listowel, Ontario, knew that golf would be his calling from a young age. He would participate on Golf Canada’s National Junior Team, consistently demonstrating steadiness and tremendous consistency in his game.

As an amateur, Conners would win nine times, including the Ontario Amateur. He was a runner-up at the U.S. Amateur in 2014, before making the life changing decision of turning professional.

When speaking with Golf Canada National Head Coach Derek Ingram last week, he said that Conners was “getting better” and that it was “only a matter of time” before stellar play would turn into wins. Last season, he had the 54-hole lead at the Valspar Championship, only to shoot 77 in the final round. He additionally would finish second at the 2018 Sanderson Farms Championship, losing to the eventual winner Cameron Champ. Conners would learn valuable lessons from those two tournaments, that winning is tough and that you need to possess fortuitous mental strength to get over the finish line.

Conners Rallies with Stellar Back 9 to Win Valero Texas Open

The Canadian could not have had a better start to his final round on Sunday. Heading into the final round, he was one back of 54-hole leader Si Woo Kim. Conners got off to a red hot start, generating four birdies in the first five holes to take a four-shot lead.

But as quickly as the rise up the leaderboard occurred, Conners experienced an even greater fall. He would bogey the last four holes on the front nine, going from four strokes ahead to one stroke behind. It was a critical juncture that could have derailed Conners’ chances in winning his first tournament.

“I learned a lot from those previous situations that helped me today. I felt relaxed and stuck to the process,” affirmed Conners.

But the rising golf prodigy stayed mentally focused. Taking a page out of his coach’s playbook, he would forget about the previous four holes instantly, putting together a stellar Back 9 performance. On holes 10 and 11, Conners would utilize his stellar iron playing, putting his ball within 10 feet successively. On No. 12, Conners would drain his longest putt of the day of 33 feet. And by this time, he still only had one par on the score card.

With six birdies on the final nine holes, Conners would elevate himself into the winner’s circle. With his loving wife Malory by his side the whole 18 holes, and the Canadians Mackenzie Hughes and Nick Taylor green side to congratulate him with a cup of beer, the Canadian could not ask for anything more.

“I got a great group of Canadian friends on the Tour. We all motivate each other. I’m sure there are happy fans all across Canada,” said Conners. 

Corey Conners Excited for Experiencing Perks of Winning

The days of having to compete in the Monday qualifier are over for Corey Conners. With the win at the Valero Texas Open, and becoming the fifth in PGA Tour history as a Monday qualifier, Conners has a full exemption to PGA Tour tournaments through the 2020-21 season. In addition to 500 FedEx Cup points and rising to 84th in the World Golf Ranking, Conners gets automatic qualification to the 2019 PGA Championship, the Memorial and the 2020 Sentry Tournament of Champions, Genesis Open, Arnold Palmer Invitational and the PLAYERS Championship.

The most recent and important exemption for the Canadian is into this week’s Masters tournament, the second time in his career that he will be teeing it up at Augusta National Golf Club.

“It hasn’t sunk in. Really exciting…it doesn’t seem real,” stated Conners on what it means to be catching a flight to Augusta National.

The future looks bright for the unflappable Corey Conners. Those runner up finishes of the past clearly molded him into a fierce competitor on the golf course. And as his coach Derek Ingram explains, this won’t be the last time the golfing world hears of Corey Conners.

“Watch out. He is going to be in this position more and more.”