SEA ISLAND, Ga. (Feb. 2, 2014) -- Corey Conners beat Austin Connelly on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff to win the 2014 Jones Cup Invitational title.
Conners, a rising Kent State senior from Ontario, fired a final-round 73 to finish atop the leaderboard with Connelly, who closed with an even-par 72 in Sunday’s finale.
Conners, who reached the semifinals at the U.S. Amateur this past summer, birdied Nos. 8, 10 and 11 to counter a pair of bogeys on each side and held on to force the playoff after starting the day tied for fourth place.
The foggy final round started with 25 players well within striking distance of the title, including overnight co-leaders Mike McCoy, Bryson Dechambeau and Gregory Eason.
McCoy, the reigning U.S. Mid-Amateur champion, shot a 76 on Sunday to finish tied for fourth place alongside Arkansas’ Sebastian Cappelen. Dechambeau, who plays his college golf at SMU, couldn’t replicate the magic from his second-round 2-under 70 and finished with a 79 to tie for 14th.
Eason, the recent South Beach International Amateur winner, shared the lead from the start but struggled with a final-round 81 to finish tied for 21st.
Curtis Thompson, who won the Dixie Amateur in December and was one of three co-leaders after Round 1, shot a final-round 75 and finished tied for sixth. Auburn’s Michael Johnson also held a share of the lead Friday. He finished with a 76 and tied for 10th.
For Conners, it’s undoubtedly a marquee victory. Over the last two years, he has played brilliantly but hasn’t won. In 2013, he tied for third at the Monroe Invitational and was the runner-up at the Canadian Amateur in addition to his stellar play at the U.S. Amateur. He also had Top 10s at the NCAA Championshp, Porter Cup, Canadian Amateur and Ontario Amateur in 2012.