Defending champion Conners flies under radar at hotel check-in

Frank Pingue
·2-min read
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By Frank Pingue

(Reuters) - Corey Conners may be the defending champion at this week's Valero Texas Open in San Antonio but that did not make him any more recognisable when he checked into his hotel - even if his image was on every room key.

The Canadian, who won the event after making the field as a Monday qualifier, said he even made a comment to the woman who handed over the room key that showed him holding the trophy from 2019 but she never caught on.

"Of course she had no idea who I was, but I made a funny comment about it being embarrassing for the guy who's got to look at himself on the room key every day for the whole week," said Conners.

"I obviously had my mask on and a hat and I think a sweatshirt, so she probably didn't put two and two together. But it's pretty cool, a nice touch. Happy it's me on there and hopefully can be on there again."

The win by Conners in 2019, which remains his only triumph on the PGA Tour, secured the last invite to that year's Masters, where he would go on to finish in a share of 46th place.

Conners already secured his spot in next week's Masters by virtue of his top-10 finish at Augusta National last year and will be brimming with confidence after recent top-10s at both the Arnold Palmer Invitational and The Players Championship.

"I feel like I have a great plan for the golf course and feel like my game sets up pretty well," said world number 41 Conners. "Work the ball right to left off the tee, I think a lot of the holes fit my eye with that shot shape.

"Then typically being a strong iron player, that's the important part of success there. And then putting as well, I became more comfortable on the greens."

(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Toby Davis)