Corey Conners setting sights on Tour Championship

Listowel, Ont., native Corey Conners is on track to play in the season-ending Tour Championship next weekend after his strong finish at the Northern Trust this past Sunday moved him into the top 30 on the FedEx Cup standings.

Last season, he didn’t qualify for the FedEx Cup Playoffs. This season, he’s one weekend away from qualifying for the Tour Championship.

After shooting rounds of 66-71-70-69 at the Northern Trust to finish T21, Conners moved from No. 31 to 27 in the standings.

The top 30 players in the standings after this weekend’s BMW Championship (which features the top 70 players) will qualify for the Tour Championship in Atlanta next weekend.

Qualifying for the Tour Championship alone is an impressive feat, but it’s an even greater one when you consider it’s the 27-year-old’s first time qualifying for the FedEx Cup Playoffs at all.

Last year, Conners was just shy of qualifying for the first round of the playoffs when he finished No. 130 in the FedEx Cup standings.

That placement was enough to grant him conditional PGA Tour status for this season, but he would have to grind his way through Monday qualifiers to earn a spot in the field each week.

But it worked.

On the Monday before the Valero Texas Open earlier this year in April, Conners qualified for the last spot in the field. He then went on to win the event for his first PGA Tour victory. It was the first time a Monday qualifier won on tour since Arjun Atwal did it at the 2010 Wyndham Championship.

Since then, something’s clicked. Before the win in Texas, Conners had missed eight out of twelve cuts. Since then, he’s only missed four out of thirteen cuts.

This upwards trajectory isn’t anything new for Conners. Since turning professional in 2015, he has constantly moved up through the ranks.

Just four years ago he started out on the Mackenzie Tour, and it was only two years after that he had moved onto the Korn Ferry Tour. Now he’s headed towards the Tour Championship as one of the top 30 players on the PGA Tour, all within a span of four years.

Just last year on the PGA Tour, he made $728,296 in earnings. So far this year he’s made $2,621,552. That’s over three times as much and that’s not including what he could make this weekend at the BMW Championship and the $395,000 he’s guaranteed to make if he qualifies for the Tour Championship.

Including his win in Texas, so far this year he’s had three top 10 finishes, an additional three top 25 finishes, and he currently sits first in greens in regulation percentage with 72.93 per cent.

Regardless of how he does this weekend, this has been a breakout season for the Canadian.

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