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August 14, 2014

Corey Conners


PETE KOWALSKI: We have Corey Connors from Canada, semifinalist last year who had a tough first round match against Scottie Scheffler, the 2013 U.S. Junior Champion, won it on the 18th hole. So he had you down and you made some birdies. Tell us about how that win.

COREY CONNERS: Yeah, kind of struggled a little bit at the beginning. The whole front nine, we both made some mistakes I guess, and gave some holes to each other. But he had me down and made a nice birdie on 11 real tough par 4, and I birdied four holes in a row, 12 through 15 and was able to get myself to 2-up. Bogeyed 16 and two nice pars coming in and was able to hang on.

PETE KOWALSKI: Tell us about the four birdies, was it close putts?

COREY CONNERS: Yeah, the first two, I made a really sweet putt on No. 12, broke a couple feet, maybe 15 feet from the hole but a big left-to-right swinger, and was happy to knock that in. Scottie was pretty close for his birdie look. So yeah, felt good to not drop another shot there. And really long putt again on 13. 30 or 35 feet with a ton of left-to-right break and just dropped right in the front. That was pretty nice. And then I hit it really close on 14. Conceded birdie and hit it close on 15, as well.

Q. When did you start using the AimPoint technology?
COREY CONNERS: Like late spring, I started doing the Express Read in late spring. I started using the AimPoint for a couple years. The national team coach in Canada, Derek Ingram, is a really good instructor and I found that it's helped my game a lot. Can be really specific with starting point for your putt and just trust it.

PETE KOWALSKI: You've been playing very well and you had the lead at the Canadian Amateur going into the last round. Last year, you probably learned a ton by going as far as you did. Is that accurate, do you think?

COREY CONNERS: Yeah, definitely. I kind of came in this year the same place it was last year. Last year I was leading heading into the final round of the Canadian Amateur, lost by one with a 3-putt on the last hole. This year I bogeyed the last hole and lost by one. Was definitely motivated to redeem myself last year and as well this year. So happy with my play so far, and yeah, definitely learned a lot and became real comfortable with match play from my success last year.

PETE KOWALSKI: How about getting somebody of Scottie's calibre first round?

COREY CONNERS: Yeah, I played with him before at the Jones Cup in the fall, and obviously he's a heck of a prayer, and yeah, I don't know, nothing I could do about it. Out of my control for sure. So just tried to play my game and see what happens.

Q. How many matches have gone to 18 and what do you think of it as a finishing hole?
COREY CONNERS: I don't know, I like it. It offers up a good birdie opportunity if you're trailing, and in my position, the lay up is pretty narrow. I actually hit it in -- my lay up was in a divot on 18. There's a ton of divots in the lay up area, so pretty sandy and tough wedge shot into the wind, front pin today. I like it, though. Birdie opportunity for sure.

Q. Ever a consideration you might go for that green?
COREY CONNERS: Yeah, the place I hit my drive yesterday, I had 235 to the front and 240 to the hole and if I was in that position needing to go for it yesterday, I needed to make a par and didn't want to do anything silly and so I laid up and hit pitching wedge and a sand wedge. But yeah, if you hit a nice drive -- today it was into the wind and I didn't hit it great. I had like 255 to the front so it was out of the question for today. But if you can get the ball up, there's some room up there to go at the green in two for sure.

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