Corey Conners of Listowel, Ontario became the 15th Canadian to win a tournament on the Professional Golfers Association Tour on Sunday. Conners was six under par in his final round and had a four round score of -20 to beat American Charley Hoffman by two strokes at the 2019 Valero Texas Open in San Antonio.
Conners began his fourth round with four straight birdies on the first, third, fourth and fifth holes. He then had four straight bogeys on the sixth through ninth holes. Then on the back nine, Conners’s putter once again caught fire as he birdied the 10th, 11th, 12th, 14th, 16th and 17th holes. Ryan Moore of the United States was the only other player within three strokes of Conners as he finished in third place at -17.
Conners becomes the second international player to record a score of -20 or better and win the Valero Texas Open. The first was Nick Price of Zimbabwe who had a score of -21 in 1992. Price beat Steve Elkington of Australia in a playoff.
With the win, Conners now qualifies for many prestigious golf tournaments. They include the 2019 Masters, 2019 PGA Championship, and the 2020 Players Championship. He is also exempt on the PGA Tour through 2020-21.
Conners also becomes the first qualifier to win on the PGA Tour since Arjun Atwal of India in 2010. Atwal won the Wyndham Championship in Greensboro, North Carolina that year.
The other 14 Canadians to win an event on the PGA Tour are Al Balding of Toronto, Ontario (1955 Mayfair Inn Open in Sanford, Florida, 1957 Miami Beach Open, 1957 West Palm Beach Open and 1957 Havana Invitational), George Knudson of Winnipeg, Manitoba (1961 Coral Gables Open in Miami, 1963 Portland Open, 1964 Fresno Open, 1967 Greater New Orleans Open, 1968 Phoenix Open, 1968 Tucson Open, 1970 Robinson Open in Illinois, and the 1972 Kaiser International Open in Williamsburg, Virginia), Mike Weir of Sarnia, Ontario (1999 Air Canada Championship in Surrey, British Columbia, 2000 WGC American Express Championship in Spain, 2001 Tour Championship in Atlanta, 2003 Bob Hope Classic in Palm Desert, 2003 and 2004 Nissan Open from Los Angeles, 2003 Masters and 2007 Fry’s Electronics Open from Scottsdale, Arizona), Dave Barr of Kelowna, British Columbia (1981 Quad Cities Open from Coal Valley, Illinois, and the 1987 Georgia Pacific Atlanta Golf Classic), Adam Hadwin of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan (2017 Valspar Championship from Palm Harbor, Florida), Dan Halldorson of Winnipeg, Manitoba (1980 Pensacola Open in Florida), Mackenzie Hughes of Dundas, Ontario (2016 RSM Classic from Saint Simons Island, Georgia), Ian Leggatt of Cambridge, Ontario (2002 Tucson Open), Stephen Ames of Calgary, Alberta (2004 Western Open from Chicago, 2006 Players Championship from Jacksonville, Florida, and the 2007 and 2009 Walt Disney World Golf Classic), Richard Zokol of Kitimat, British Columbia (1992 Greater Milwaukee Open), Nick Taylor of Winnipeg, Manitoba (2014 Sanderson Farms Championship from Jackson, Mississippi), Stan Leonard of Vancouver, British Columbia (1957 Greater Greensboro Open), Al Johnston of Montreal, Quebec (1962 Hot Springs Open in Arkansas), and Pat Fletcher of Victoria, British Columbia (1954 Canadian Open in Vancouver). Weir is the only Canadian to have won a major in men’s golf.