'I can feel the love from afar': Conners enjoying Ont. support as he tears up PGA Tour
LONDON, ONT. -- Listowel, Ont. native Corey Conners is one of the hottest golfers on the planet right now.
With four top ten finishes in his last six events, he has jumped 22 spots in the Official World Golf Ranking during his last seven events.
Conners is now the 38th ranked player in the world. His $3,083,837 is the 15th most on tour during the 2020-2021 season.
CTV News London's Brent Lale spoke with Conners this week via Zoom from his home in Jupiter, Fla. about his recent succes, and how his game is evolving.
Q: So many people have been cheering for you back home in Southwestern Ontario every week. Can you feel the love from afar?
"Oh absolutely, I can. There are so many supporters back home in Listowel and the surrounding area. Brendan Parsons at Listowel GC heads up the fan club. I definitely feel a lot of love, I get a lot of messages from friends and family. I know everyone's watching.
"It feels great to have good performances and, you know, make people proud back home. I definitely miss being able to get back there. I haven't been back there very often, and recently what we're really proud of where I grew up and really happy to get all the support. I can definitely feel the love each and every week."
Q: Is this best stretch of golf you have ever played?
"Yeah definitely. I have put in a lot of hard work over the off-season just trying to refine my game but I have a lot of confidence right now. It's definitely, as good as I've ever felt about my game for sure."
Q: In your last 14 events, you have seven top-10 finishes, and 11 top-20 finishes. Did a switch just go off and you found your game?
"I'm feeling more comfortable on the golf course and sticking to my routine, trusting the process and my game plan, and then been lot more consistent on the greens as well.
"I think that's been the biggest thing that's kind of allowed me to get up near the top of the leaderboard. I haven't had too many rounds where the putters kind of let me down and allowed me to maximize my score. So the putters and working well and I've been able to shoot some good numbers."
Q: Everyone knows you are one of the best ball strikers in the world. Have you focused more on the putter lately?
"Since making kind of a technique change at the end of last summer, I have spent the majority of my time in practice and my focus on trying to improve that area. Continuing to work on it is still, still a work in progress but I've been quite happy with the results.
"Definitely more consistent throughout events, and it's something that's very important for me. I've always been a strong ball striker, and the times that I've had the had good finishes it's been because I've putted pretty well. The times I really played poorly, it's been poor performance on the green. You know it's what's led me to some success lately and something that I feel like I'm on a good path with improving and that consistency has been great."
Q: What specifically have you changed as far as putting technique?
"First and foremost the biggest change is changing my grip. I went from a conventional grip to cross-handed or left-hand low. In doing that, I also switched to more of a mallet-style putter, it's a little bit bigger. I had I been using a blade-style putter my whole career, and the mallet just got pretty good with the cross-handed.
"It was a little bit of an adjustment period, to kind of get used to that but I was committed to making a change. I felt like it would put me on a good trajectory of improving things and fortunately that has and definitely feeling more and more comfortable with that now."
Q: What is next on the schedule for you?
"So we've got this week off. I'm going to try and rest up as best as I can, I played a lot of golf recently. I feel good about my game so we'd like to keep playing but the body and mind need some rest right now. Next couple events are the Valspar Championship in Tampa, which I had success on my rookie season. And then, Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte. I really like to play those events.
"After the Wells Fargo there's another week off, and the PGA Championship, the second major of the year. I'm excited as all those golf courses I know are really difficult, and are really challenging, and I feel like my game will stack up pretty well in each of those places."
Q: What do you do on your week off in Jupiter, Fla.?
"I do actually have a small boat, so (wife) Malory and I try and get out on that this week -- enjoy some sunshine because it's really relaxing being out on the water. Probably won't be able to stay away from the golf course for too long. We'll be back there practicing later in the week but yeah next couple days, just take it easy.
"Do some laundry, sort through the mail. Pretty exciting stuff! Make sure we spend time outside as the weather down here is really nice right now. But overall just try and take it easy, but get back in golf focus by the end of the week."
Q: How is life on tour during the pandemic?
''First of all it's tough news to get a few days ago about closing golf down up there (in Ontario). I kind of feel for everyone as people were excited to be able to get outside to do that.
"As far as life on tour, we've been lucky. The tour has done a great job of kind of creating a bubble in a secure environment for us. Playing comes with a lot of COVID tests, which aren't that enjoyable but it's part of what we have to do now. Life on the road it's a little less exciting, not being able to kind of go out and eat at restaurants, it's a lot of takeout food. Fortunately we stayed in a few rental houses the last few weeks and cook our own meals. Basically hotel, golf course and repeat. We are fortunate to still be able to golf and do something we love. The tour a nice job of allowing us to do that."