Conners grabs early lead at Monroe Invitational

Kent State's Corey Conners

Full scores

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Corey Conners, who just completed his junior season at Kent State, shot 4-under 66 Wednesday to take a two-shot lead after the first round of the Monroe Invitational.

Conners bogeyed the par-4 first hole at the Donald Ross-designed Monroe Golf Club, but came back with a birdie on No. 2, then added five more birdies against one bogey the rest of the way, including a strong finish with birdies on Nos. 16 and 18. Conners, of Listowel, Ontario, finished this season at No. 31 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings and tied for 20th at last year's Monroe, which was won by Illinois' Thomas Pieters.

Three golfers shared second place at 2-under 68: Kentucky's Cody Martin, Duke's Yaroslav Merkulov and Jack Maguire, an incoming freshman at Florida State.

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