‘A little mindless’: Tour pro fumbles away lead on disastrous 4-putt

Corey Conners on Friday on the 16th hole at TPC San Antonio.

PGA Tour Live

It happens, Corey Conners said. 

He got a little out of sync, he added. 

Conners is one of the more even-keeled PGA Tour pros, and his reaction to disaster was calm. Nevertheless, things took a turn during Friday’s Valero Texas Open second round, where Conners:

— Began the 198-yard, par-3 16th at TPC San Antonio — his seventh hole of the round after starting on the back nine — with a two-shot lead.

— Dropped his tee shot on the back-left portion of the green, which features a bunker in the middle of it.

— Hit his birdie putt, from 55 feet away, to the left and 4 feet past the hole.

— Hit his par putt to the right and 2 feet past. 

— Hit his bogey putt to the right, with the ball spinning off the rim of the hole. 

— Hit his double-bogey putt, from 15 inches away, in the cup.     

— Walked to the 17th in a share of the lead. He started Saturday’s third round three strokes back of leader Patrick Rodgers

“What in the world has happened here?” an announcer on the PGA Tour Live broadcast said. “Corey Conners. “That’s a four-putt.” 

“Yep, the ole dreaded four-putt,” another announcer said. “Happens. Not often.” 

“That’ll be a shock to the system for Conners, who was just cruising along,” the first announcer said. 

Indeed. Notably, putts two, three and four all came in a span of 45 seconds. The par putt was hit firm. Ahead of the bogey putt, he circled to the right of the hole, marked, picked up his ball, read the line, placed the ball back and missed. Ahead of the double-bogey putt, he circled to the left of the hole, marked, adjusted his ball, took away the mark, read the line and putted. He swiped up the ball from the cup, when it was all done. 

And yeah, it happens, Conners said afterward. 

He got a little out of sync, he added. 

He bogeyed 17, too, then birdied 18, 2 and 8 and shot an even-par 72. 

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“Yeah, it was just really windy,” Conners said. “Yeah, just caught a bit of a gust on the first putt. Yeah, a little mindless trying to knock in my bogey putt, and it got away from me as well. They both seemed to turn a little right from opposite sides of the hole. I think the wind kind of got the first one a little bit, and the second one maybe wasn’t the best putt. It happens. I feel like I’m rolling it well. I made a nice bogey putt on the next hole to kind of get back in rhythm, good birdie putt on 18.

“Yeah, that was an unfortunate blemish on the card, but it happens.”

Was it tough to refocus?  

“Yeah, I feel like I’ve hit a lot of really good putts throughout the first couple rounds and before that, so I just try to think more about those than I really dwell on the couple misses I had there,” he said. “Just stick to my routine, see it and try and roll it in.”

Another reporter then asked about 16.  

“Yeah, 16, the wind was really blowing there and got a little out of sync,” Conners said. “Certainly like to have that over, but it’s how it goes. I battled back, did some things to make up for it.” 

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Nick Piastowski

Nick Piastowski

Golf.com Editor

Nick Piastowski is a Senior Editor at Golf.com and Golf Magazine. In his role, he is responsible for editing, writing and developing stories across the golf space. And when he’s not writing about ways to hit the golf ball farther and straighter, the Milwaukee native is probably playing the game, hitting the ball left, right and short, and drinking a cold beer to wash away his score. You can reach out to him about any of these topics — his stories, his game or his beers — at nick.piastowski@golf.com.

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