Canada’s Corey Conners came through Monday qualifying and went on to win the Valero Texas Open at TPC San Antonio and will now play in The Masters.
Corey Conners wins Valero Texas Open
Corey Conners fired a final round of 66 at TPC San Antonio to win the Valero Texas Open by two strokes over Charley Hoffman. He’s the first player in nine years to win on the PGA Tour having come through qualifying on a Monday. He has now earned a place in next week’s Masters.
Conners played an incredible final round at TPC San Antonio that contained no fewer than 10 birdies. He started with four birdies in the first five holes, but he then carded four straight bogeys to close out the front nine, hurting his chances of a maiden PGA Tour victory.
But the Canadian dug deep and fought back, by the time he holed a long birdie putt on the 12th, he had the lead again.
Ryan Moore applied the pressure and he joined Conners at the top of the board with four birdies in five holes to the 16th. But he couldn’t make any further ground on the 17th, missing a makeable putt. Conners then turned on the afterburners and birdied the 15th, 16th and 17th holes, to take a comfortable lead to the final hole.
Conners closed out the victory and secured his place in the field for Augusta.
“My wife got an email this morning letting her know we could check in for our flight back home,” Conners said. “I told her, `Aw, don’t check in yet. Maybe we can make other plans.’ Big change of plans. It was going to be an off week. I’m glad it won’t be.”
And with the victory, Tour life is going to change long term for the Canadian.
“No more Monday qualifying,” he said. “That’s the best deal from this. Amazing. It’s a dream come true. I won’t be as stressful on Mondays.”
Arjun Atwal was the last man to win on the PGA Tour having been through Monday qualifying. He did it in the 2010 Wyndham Championship.
Charley Hoffman, winner of this event in 2016, ended the week in second spot after carding a closing 67. Ryan Moore was third with Si Woo Kim and Brian Stuard tied for fourth.
Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell continued his good run, finishing tied for 7th place.
Valero Texas Open
TPC San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas
Purse: $7,500,000 Par: 72
1 Corey Conners (Can) 69 67 66 66 268 $1,350,000
2 Charley Hoffman (USA) 71 68 64 67 270 $810,000
3 Ryan Moore (USA) 68 70 69 64 271 $510,000
T4 Si Woo Kim (Kor) 66 66 69 72 273 $330,000
T4 Brian Stuard (USA) 67 70 70 66 273 $330,000
6 Kevin Streelman (USA) 72 69 69 64 274 $270,000
T7 Byeong Hun An (Kor) 69 68 73 66 276 $203,035
T7 Jason Kokrak (USA) 70 73 65 68 276 $203,035
T7 Graeme McDowell (NIR) 69 69 72 66 276 $203,035
T7 Scott Brown (USA) 71 67 67 71 276 $203,035
T7 Matt Kuchar (USA) 69 71 67 69 276 $203,035
T7 Danny Lee (NZ) 68 72 66 70 276 $203,035
T7 Adam Schenk (USA) 70 66 70 70 276 $203,035
Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage