- Corey Conners was the last player to qualify for the Masters, earning his spot with a win at the Valero Texas Open on Sunday with the help of six birdies on the back nine to close his final round.
- Conners impressive stretch of golf goes back even further, as he had to win his way into the Texas Open, beating out 70 players and winning a six-man playoff to take one of just four spots up for grabs in the tournament at the qualifying round.
- At the Masters, Conners kept his hot streak going, shooting a 2-under round to become an early clubhouse leader of the tournament.
- Check out the rest of our 2019 Masters coverage.
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Just 10 days ago, it seemed almost certain that Corey Conners would be watching the Masters from home, but after a whirlwind week filled with brilliant golf, Conners wound up securing the final invite Augusta National and finished Thursday as the early clubhouse leader.
Conners earned his spot at the Masters with a win at the Valero Texas Open last weekend, one of the PGA Tour events which offer the winner an automatic invite to Augusta National.
At the Texas Open, Conners played solid all weekend, with all four rounds in the 60s, but he still had to rally to win the tournament on the back nine of his final round.
After four straight bogeys on the front nine seemed likely to sink his final round, Conners hit six birdies on the back nine to storm back up the leaderboard and take the top spot and the Masters invite that comes with it.
More incredibly, Conners didn’t even know he would get to play in the Texas Open until he played himself into that tournament the previous Monday.
While most golfers playing in the Texas Open automatically qualified for the tournament, Conners, still early in his PGA Tour career, had to earn his way into the field with a Monday qualifying round.
The qualifying round had four spots in the Texas Open up for grabs, and more than 70 players competing for them. On the 18th green, Conners hit a 20-foot birdie putt to move into a six-way tie for fourth place and six-person playoff for the final spot in the tournament.
Conners won that playoff to get into the Texas Open, then won the Texas Open to get into the Masters. Not a bad week.
“I’ve had some good finishes this year and I felt good with my game, but yeah, definitely wouldn’t have believed that I would be here,” Conners said. “I was excited to watch the coverage on TV back at home for an off-week, but I’m even more excited to be playing.”
Despite being the last man to win his way into the tournament, and a 250/1 long shot to win, at Augusta, Conners kept his hot streak going. After teeing off with one of the first groups of the day, Conners played his opening round 2-under to become the tournament’s first clubhouse leader.
12 long shots who can win the Masters
Unsurprisingly, the lead would not last through the day as more players finished their rounds, but given the stretch of golf Conners has already been on, there’s no reason to think he can’t capture the lead once again as the weekend wears on.
After winning his way into not one, but two tournaments to put himself in his current position, he’s a tough man to bet against.
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