Corey Conners Wins Valero Texas Open Ahead Of The Masters

The Canadian will take some serious momentum into The Masters, as he secured a second Valero Texas Open

Conners holds his hands up in the air after securing victory
(Image credit: Getty Images)

It's no secret that Corey Conners loves this tournament and, on Sunday, the Canadian proved just that, as he picked up his second PGA Tour title, with both coming at the Valero Texas Open.

Firing a final round 68, Conners managed to see off Sam Stevens by just one stroke, with the American looking to also secure a first PGA Tour title. However, despite missing out, he did claim his best finish in a PGA Tour event, as a final round 66 gave him outright second.

Beginning the final day, it was Patrick Rodgers who led the way, with the American looking to wrap up a first PGA Tour title and a spot at next week's Masters. However, throughout the final round, he struggled as a two-over-par front nine was backed up  by a one-under back nine to finish four shots back.

With Rodgers unable to capitalise on his previous form, that opened the door for a number of players, with Conners the one to take advantage as he fired a three-under-par front nine which included three birdies.

Four strokes ahead with nine to go, the Canadian saw the gap go down to two with five holes remaining, as Stevens made back-to-back birdies at the 13th and 14th and Sam Ryder made a birdie at the 16th to both get to 12-under-par.

Stevens watches his tee shot with a driver

Stevens fired a six-under-par final round to claim a runner-up spot

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Conners, though, extended the lead back to three at the 15th, as an 18-foot birdie putt dropped as he got to 15-under-par. However, although it seemed he was cruising to the title, all was about to change as Stevens made an incredible eagle at the driveable par 4 17th. This moved him to just one shot behind the Canadian, with one hole left for Stevens.

What's more, Conners couldn't take advantage at the short par 4 17th as he held that slim advantage heading down the 72nd hole. There was some luck for the 31-year-old though as, at the par 5 last, Stevens could only par, this meant Conners could par in to win.

Striking his drive down the middle, he found the back of the green with his second. Hitting his chip to 25-feet, he lagged the birdie putt to just a few feet and tapped-in for a par and a one shot win that will give him some huge momentum going into The Masters, especially at a venue where he has three top-10s in his last three starts.

Matt Cradock
Staff Writer

Matt joined Golf Monthly in February 2021 covering weekend news, before also transitioning to equipment and testing. After freelancing for Golf Monthly and The PGA for 18 months, he was offered a full-time position at the company in October 2022 and continues to cover weekend news and social media, as well as help look after Golf Monthly’s many buyers’ guides and equipment reviews.

Taking up the game when he was just seven years of age, Matt made it into his county squad just a year later and continues to play the game at a high standard, with a handicap of around 2-4. To date, his best round came in 2016, where he shot a six-under-par 66 having been seven-under through nine holes. He currently plays at Witney Lakes in Oxfordshire and his favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.

Matt’s current What’s In The Bag?

Driver: Honma TW747, 8.75°

Fairway Wood: TaylorMade Rocketballz Stage 2, 15°, 19°

Hybrid: Adams Super Hybrid, 22°

Irons: Mizuno MP54, 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Tour Satin, 50°, 56°, 60°

Putter: Cleveland TFI 2135 Satin Cero

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x