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March 8, 2018

Corey Conners

Palm Harbor, Florida

Q. Corey, we'll take some opening comments. You have the lead here. What went so well for you out there today?
COREY CONNERS: Just kept things simple. I seem to play well on difficult golf courses and hit a lot of fairways, got myself into position to make some birdies and fortunate to hole some nice putts on the front-9 and keep myself out of trouble.

That's a big key on this golf course, I think, you are off the fairway you can make a mess of some holes pretty quickly. That was definitely a key for me.

Q. Where were you when you found out that you were in?
COREY CONNERS: Actually played in the Monday qualifier. I just finished and got a call from the Tour saying that I was in. So, yeah, it was obviously a great feeling to get into the field and kind of had a mindset of trying to take advantage of sort of a good break, I guess.

Q. What had you shot that day?
COREY CONNERS: 1-under, 71. I was six out of making the qualifier.

Q. You got in Monday night into the field?
COREY CONNERS: Monday afternoon. I played about 8 in the morning and finished around 1:00. I was in the field then. Just able to play a practice round on Tuesday.

Q. How many rounds have you played before the tournament?
COREY CONNERS: One round on Tuesday. So, tried to get as much work done as I could and take some notes. My caddie did some good work out there and guided me around a little bit. Feel pretty comfortable.

I usually got a good memory, I guess, so I take good notes and kind of remember what you want to do on each hole.

Q. Did you play anywhere Wednesday or just come out here and practice?
COREY CONNERS: I came out here and practiced. I had a good practice session. Pretty windy, kind of prepared me well for today. Sort of working on keeping things smooth and that helped today.

Q. Up until 9 what do you consider some of the more important par saves you had that kind of kept you happy?
COREY CONNERS: I think on 13 definitely I hit a poor iron shot into the green, into the bunker and almost holed the bunker shot, ended up on the edge.

And 16 I drove it in the rough, hit a nice approach shot, left myself below the hole, kind of run one up on the green and ended up just short. Ended up lipping that try from the front of the green. Nice to walk away with a par on that hole after not the best tee shot.

Q. Pretty stress-free otherwise?
COREY CONNERS: Really was. Maybe a 6-foot par putt on No. 6. Hit it to the back of the green, rolled it by a little bit. But, yeah, for the most part it was a lot of tap-in pars and made some birdies.

Q. Corey, you missed 9 out of 10 cuts coming into this week. You're in a solid position in your career.
How is the overall health of your game?

COREY CONNERS: Everything feels really good. I haven't had the best results on the weekend so trying to learn from prior experiences and kind of get in a better rhythm and stay focused. Everything is solid. I feel really good about my game and was really happy to have gotten into the field here and definitely feel like I'm due for a good week.

Q. I met Mallory. I talked to her briefly and you're both from the same neck of the woods, your fiancee. I asked her for some adjectives.
She said you're very humble, very, very thorough man, very conscientious and a gentleman. I noticed when I walked with you and Mackenzie Hughes on Tuesday, I noticed that you were a real gentleman.


Q. Took time out and said hello. Your swing is a marvelous swing, got a very strong back and hit it with your back body which is what the greatest players have done. I had a question.
You've got on your bag the Canadian logo. What was your history with that? Were you on the amateur team?

COREY CONNERS: I was on the development team and the amateur team my junior and amateur career. I started when I was 17, I believe, and then I turned professional a couple years ago and I've been a part of the young pro program up until this year and no longer a part of that program but they kind of continue to support me.

They're helping out some younger guys trying to get some more guys out on the PGA TOUR. That program has been amazing in the development and given me so many opportunities to train and get better. The resources that they have are awesome.

Q. Who are you extracted from that program? Who has become your mentor or mentors?
COREY CONNERS: Derek Ingram, the head coach. He worked with me since I've been on the amateur team and.

Q. Since age 17?
COREY CONNERS: He became a coach when I graduated on to the men's team when I was 18 or 19 and worked with him ever since --

Q. You're 26 now?

Q. Is it distracting at all on the 1st Round to walk around the course and see your name on the top of the leaderboard?
COREY CONNERS: I know -- that's the ultimate goal. There's still a lot of golf to be played. Yeah, wasn't -- didn't get too excited out there, try to stay level-headed and keep doing what I was doing. Hopefully I can go and do more of the same tomorrow.

Q. Why do you think tough courses suit you well?
COREY CONNERS: Just maybe the added focus and usually nothing real flashy about my game, don't overpower it but everything is really solid and on the tough courses just getting the ball in the fairway and getting solid iron shots on to the green and spot where you can get a chance for birdie.

Definitely I like the challenge and like golf courses that require you put a premium on the fairway and hitting the green.

Q. You played a lot of tournaments where grinding pars is a good way to go about it, not playing 20-under and stuff like that.
COREY CONNERS: Gained a lot of experience with similar weather conditions, having to grind a lot.

Q. Corey I have one college question. Did you use some college or any of the amateur programs?
COREY CONNERS: I went to Kent State University with Mackenzie Hughes and Taylor Pendrith was a teammate and close friend of mine.

Q. You said you have good memory and you put all that information in. Do you have like a mind coach or someone that helps you focus?
COREY CONNERS: I think that's really a important aspect of the game, work with a sports psychologist and try to kind of learned a lot from that and just playing within myself and learning what I need to do to play my best.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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