BY DAN MCNEE
CARMEL, INDIANA – With his time at Kent State University winding down, Corey Conners has certainly made the most of it.
The Listowel native helped his Golden Flashes to a sixth straight Mid-American Conference (MAC) men’s golf championship on Sunday at the Prairie View Golf Club, also claiming the individual MAC title by five strokes over Kent teammate Taylor Pendrith. The two were named the MAC Co-Players of the Year by the league’s coaches following the tournament, and also selected to the All-Mac First Team and the MAC All-Tournament Team.
Conners, a senior in his final year at Kent, shot a four-round total of 277 for -11 under par to claim his second individual MAC championship in three years, the last coming in 2012. Kent State captured the team portion by 10 strokes over second-place Akron.
“It feels great,” said Conners. “It’s definitely exciting. To be named the best player in your conference is an honour for sure.”
The MAC title was Conners’ fourth NCAA win of the 2013-14 season, claiming the Gopher Invitational in September, as well as the General Hackler Championship and Davidson Invitational, both in March. Conners also won the Jones Cup in February, one of the top 30 ranked amateur golf events in the world.
During Saturday’s third round, Conners carded a tournament low 65, highlighted by a hole-in-one on the par 3 12th. The ace was the fourth of his career, and only four days removed from his last one on Kent State’s home course when he was getting in a practice run.
Strangely enough, Conners sank both aces on par 3 12th holes, and used an 8-iron both times.
See CONNERS, page 23
“It was quite a coincidence,” he said. “(On Saturday) I just threw my hands up and gave a little cheer when I saw my ball trickle in.”
Conners now has his sights set on the NCAA regionals next week, being held at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Illinois – the same course Conners won his 2012 MAC title on.
“It’s pretty tricky, but I think that course suits my game well,” he said. “I’m excited more than anything.
“I’m hitting the ball great right now, and have been chipping and putting well.”
Once his college tenure is up later in the spring, the mathematics major plans on taking part in both Canadian and U.S. amateur events this summer, and is hopeful to once again earn a berth in the RBC Canadian Open in July. He also would love to earn a spot on the three-man Canadian squad at the World Amateur Team Championships in Karuizawa, Japan in September.
“It’s been amazing,” said Conners of his college experience at Kent State. “It’s gone by very quickly. I’ve learned a lot and been able to polish my game.
“I’ve been lucky to have such a great coaching staff, support team and most of all, great teammates.”