June 8, 2022
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
St. George's Golf & Country Club
THE MODERATOR: We would like to welcome Corey Conners to the interview room here at the RBC Canadian Open. Corey is making his seventh start at this event. Corey, if we can get some comments on being back at perhaps your favorite tournament.
COREY CONNERS: Yeah, it's certainly exciting to be back here, I've been looking forward to this event for some time now, obviously. Weren't able it play the last couple years, so it's great to be home, feel great about my game and I'm really looking forward to the week.
It's been great so far, felt a lot of support from family, friends and all the people across Canada, so it will be a really fun week and looking forward to getting started.
THE MODERATOR: You're in good form, coming in off of a tie for 13th place at the Memorial. If we can talk about the state of your game.
COREY CONNERS: My game feels really good. I feel like I did a lot of things really well at the Memorial. I think three of the days for sure I really hit my irons well and that's going to be something that's important here.
I felt good with all parts of the game, hit a lot of shots close to the hole, which is always nice. Felt like could have got a few better bounces here and there to maybe finish a little higher, just didn't seem like I had the breaks needed. But if I can get some of those this week and keep playing well that will be a big bonus.
THE MODERATOR: Before we open it up to questions, if you'll recap your year. Two top-10 finishes at Match Play and also the Masters. Talk a little bit about your season up to this point.
COREY CONNERS: Yeah, I played well at those two events particularly. Really love Augusta, love the Match Play format, so it was nice to have some success at those two events.
Overall been a little bit inconsistent. I found certain parts of my game have been strong some weeks and other parts sort of let me down. So certainly like to be a little bit tidier overall, but I've been working hard and I've had a number of weeks at home over the last couple months where I've been able to sort of get recharged, refreshed and work on the game and I feel, yeah, like everything's sort of coming together and nice time for that to happen.
THE MODERATOR: Questions?
Q. Last time you played in the Canadian Open was obviously 2019. You're a different player now than you were then, I assume. So what is different about you as a player and what makes you more ready to win this time?
COREY CONNERS: Yeah, well I had a lot of fun in 2019, I just missed the cut. I was coming off my first win, seemed to be sort of a lot going on, felt like I could have maybe been focused a little better, there was a lot of distractions.
But I feel like I'm better suited to handle those distractions now and just kind of reset myself, get focused on the right things.
And as far as my game, I was playing really well in 2019 as well, but a little more refined now and just sort of more comfortable in all types of situations. Feel like I made some good improvements with sort of my short game and putting that can bail me out when needed.
Q. There are some distractions this week from other parts of the golf world. Do you think it's a bit of a shame that that's all happening this week with the return of the Canadian Open?
COREY CONNERS: Yeah, RBC and Golf Canada do such a great job with this event. I've been, my mind's certainly been on this event. I think they got a number of the top players in the world here. It's going to be a fun week. My focus is right here trying to play my best to get the job done.
I think with the players they have here there's going to be plenty of attention on this event and I think especially the Canadian fans are excited to watch golf and I still think fans all over the world are going to be tuned in to this event. It's a great golf course and a lot of good players.
Q. When was the first time you played this course?
COREY CONNERS: First time I played was last Monday. I hadn't played out here as a youngster.
Q. How would you describe it?
COREY CONNERS: It's got a really old school feel which I like. Sort of parkland feel. I like being home on this type of grass, kind of grew up one more of the bent grass. Living in Florida now and the early part of the TOUR we don't get to the northern parts of the States or in Canada and play on this grass.
So visually really like it. The fairways are defined by the thick rough and good shape to some of the holes. It really is pleasing to my eye for sure and definitely has sort of an old school feel. The greens back to front slope, a lot of them raised up a little bit.
Q. What's the toughest part for a Canadian player coming in here to try to win? Is it the crowd, the pressure, because it's not a normal week. What would you say?
COREY CONNERS: I think just blocking out the extra distractions. The Canadian fans travel well so I'm used to having a lot of support week-in and week-out. But there's a little bit extra here for all the Canadian players. So I think just embracing that and not getting sort of distracted by people cheering you on.
Q. Five of the top 10 golfers in the world are coming this week to play the Canadian Open. Curious what it says about the event that guys like Rory, JT, Scottie Scheffler coming to play Canada's national championship?
COREY CONNERS: Yeah, it's really exciting to have those guys here and like you said it's a national championship. I think national championships wherever they're played have a little bit more prestige and guys think really highly of this event.
RBC has been a great partner of mine and they do great things for golf. So it's a great event, a lot of people talk very highly of it. It's certainly an event that the top players in the world and particularly myself want to win.
There's so many historic names on the trophy and it would be awesome to be added to that and I think a lot of those guys feel the same way. It's a good part of your legacy to be able to call your self a Canadian Open champion and National Open champion.
Q. Speaking of names on the trophy, you look back at 1950s was when the last Canadian won. Do you think about that a little bit and how extra special it would be for you to be the first one to win in so long?
COREY CONNERS: Yeah, I think about it. I seem to get asked about that quite often. But yeah, I feel like now more than ever there's a great crop of Canadian players and I think there's 20 Canadians playing this week and more and more Canadians getting out on the PGA TOUR. So it's exciting to be a part of that group and I think it's just a matter of time before someone changes the history on that.
Q. You've probably already addressed this a little bit, but how does it feel to be back playing in Canada in a PGA TOUR event for the first time in three years?
COREY CONNERS: Yeah it's incredible. I've got a lot of family and friends who will be making the trip here this week. I'm excited for them to come out and see me play golf. It's been awhile since a lot of them have been able to watch me play, so it's always special.
All the support I felt in the other times, I think it's going to be even more this time and just, yeah, really excited to be back. Nothing feels like home. It's going to be a lot of fun, really looking forward to teeing it up.
Q. Is there anything that you have to do when you come back to Canada to remind you that you're home or are there any like must do things?
COREY CONNERS: Yeah I was just going to say, the end of that last question, the first stop right from the airport went to Tim Horton's and hooked myself up with a coffee and a donut. That reminds me I'm home. I think that's the first stop every time I get back to Canada. Don't know what it is about it, but that makes me feel like I'm at home.
Q. (Question off mic.)
COREY CONNERS: I switch it up. Can't really go wrong. Don't mind an apple fritter. And I love coffee, espresso, usually don't have anything in it, but when I come home I always get the one cream, one sugar and that's where it's at.
THE MODERATOR: All right. With that let's go get some breakfast. Thanks for your time.
COREY CONNERS: Thank you. Appreciate it.
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