AUGUSTA, United States – Canadian Corey Conners electrified the crowd at Augusta National on Saturday with an ace at the 180-yard par-3 sixth hole to stand sixth after three rounds of the 85th Masters.
World number 43 Conners watched the 8-iron shot bounce twice and roll into the cup for the second hole-in-one of the tournament on his way to shooting a four-under par 68 to finish on six-under 210 through 54 holes.
“A really solid day,” Conners said. “Hit a lot of nice shots and still have a lot of confidence in my game heading into tomorrow.”
Conners had made a bogey at the fifth just before he delivered the 33rd ace in Masters history and just the sixth at the sixth hole.
“I was trying to fly it somewhere over the bunker and get it to go close to the hole,” Conners said. “It was a little draw, turning at the pin. I think I hit the pin with a little bit of steam, but it was right in the middle. Pretty special moment.”
Conners, in his fourth Masters start, had seen the hole location before as a receptive one.
“It’s a pin that I’ve seen a lot of shots get close to, whether it goes past and feeds back,” Conners said.
“Didn’t seem like the wind was helping as much as I had anticipated, but fortunately, it flew far enough.”
England’s Tommy Fleetwood aced the par-3 16th on Thursday for the first hole-in-one at this year’s Masters.
It’s the seventh time in Masters history there have been two or more aces in the same year, the record of three coming in 2004 and 2016.
The first hole-in-one in Masters history was by a Canadian, amateur Ross Somerville, in the 1934 inaugural event at the par-3 16th with a mashie niblick from 145 yards.
Mike Weir in 2003 is the only Canadian winner of the Masters. Conners, 29, fired the low Masters 18-hole score by a Canadian with a 65 in the final round last year on his way to a share of 10th.
Conners plans to be cautious on Sunday and look for opportunities with his irons.
“Make sure I’m patient out there, not trying to force things,” he said. “Just hopefully can keep striking the irons really well and give myself some looks on the front nine to have a chance to make a run on the back nine.”
“I was swinging with confidence and hopefully can keep doing that. There’s still a lot of golf to be played.”
Conners took his only US PGA victory at the 2019 Texas Open and he was seventh last month at the Players Championship.BSS/AFP