Kent State's Conners wins Jones Cup in playoff

Corey Conners won the Jones Cup in a one-hole playoff with Austin Connelly on Sunday in Sea Island, Ga.

Corey Conners won the Jones Cup in a one-hole playoff with Austin Connelly on Sunday in Sea Island, Ga.

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Kent State's Corey Conners outlasted junior golf star Austin Connelly on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff to win the prestigious Jones Cup Invitational on Sunday afternoon in Sea Island, Ga.

Conners, ranked No. 41 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings, bogeyed the par-4 18th to fall into the playoff, but still managed to pick up his biggest – and first – amateur victory of his young career.

Conners had three birdies and four bogeys on the day in a 1-over 73, while Connelly was one better at an even-par 72.

Conners is a senior at Kent State, having already won one individual title in his final season, repeating as champion at the Gopher Invitational.

The native of Ontario isn't a rookie when it comes to amateur golf pressure, having advanced to the semifinals at the U.S. Amateur in 2013, losing to eventual champion Matthew Fitzpatrick, 2 and 1. He also was third in the Monroe Invitational and second in the Canadian Amateur in 2013.

He has also finished T-3 (2011) and fourth (2012) in the Canadian Amateur.

Scoring was tough on Sunday at the Ocean Forest GC, with only five of the 89 players breaking par – and only two that finished T-10 or better.

The biggest fall came from UCF standout Greg Eason who fired a 9-over 81 after sharing the 18- and 36-hole leads.

36-hole co-leaders Bryson Dechambeau (T-14 after 7-over 79) and Mike McCoy (T-4 after 4-over 76) also fell off the pace.

Alabama, ranked No. 1 in the Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings, was well represented in the top 25, with Trey Mullinax finishing T-6 at 5 over, while Robby Shelton was T-17 at 8 over and seniors Cory Whitsett and Bobby Wyatt were T-21 at 9 over.

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