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2021 Masters Preview

 Updated: Apr 13, 2021
2021 Masters Preview

Last year was one of much uncertainty, but in the end, the golf world was still blessed with a Masters Tournament – albeit one that looked different than any before, and likely, any afterwards.

Yes, 2020 was an unpredictable and unnerving year for so many, but the Masters was played regardless – in November and in front of no fans – and there was a hefty Canadian contingent.

Corey Conners, Adam Hadwin, Nick Taylor, and Mike Weir made up the Canadian foursome, tying for the most Canucks teeing it up at the Masters ever. Conners, Taylor, and Weir all made the cut and Taylor and Weir even got to play together in Saturday’s third round. Conners, meanwhile, finished T9.

Conners shot a 7-under 65 in the third round (which carried over two days, with Friday’s play suspended due to darkness) at Augusta National, which broke the record for lowest-round ever shot by a Canadian in the Masters.

PGA Tour Player, Corey Connors

Corey Connors, Canadian PGA Tour Player

The previous record was a 68, held by four golfers including Weir (who shot 68 four times).

Conners played 16 holes on Friday and came back to play No’s 8 and 9 on Saturday morning and made birdie on both holes. He elected to hit his tee shot and his approach on the par-5 8th even after the horn blew Friday because he was warm and ready to make the big swings.

Taylor’s made cut came at his first Masters. He had to wait a little longer than he would have hoped to make his debut as he won the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in February but the Masters moved from its usual April spot to November. He, unfortunately, was unable to play in front of his hometown family and friends who have supported him and his golf journey, but now, he said, he’s more motivated than ever to return.


PGA Tour Player, Nick Taylor

Nick Taylor, Canadian PGA Tour Player

Weir, meanwhile, showed some late-career resurgence since turning 50 and finding some success on the PGA TOUR Champions. Weir found the weekend at Augusta National for the first time since 2014 last year and with that Green Jacket to his name he’ll keep coming back for as long as they’ll let him.

Mike Weir, Canadian PGA Tour Player

Mike Weir, Canadian PGA Tour Player

Conners heads back to the Masters as a dark-horse contender for the Green Jacket.

He notched a third-place result at Bay Hill and another top-10 at The Players Championship, firing the round of the day in the final round. His ball-striking remains world class, and his putting – long his Achilles heal – has improved mightily in 2021. Just a couple of seasons ago Conners was 200th on Tour in Strokes Gained: Putting. He’s now leapt to 115th, and climbing, crediting a switch to a left-land low putting style and extra, constant effort in practice.

While there are only three Canadians in the field so far for the 2021 Masters, the trio of Ontarians are hoping to be joined by at least one more countryman prior to the iconic April drive down Magnolia Lane.

There are two weeks left on the PGA Tour schedule and Canadians will have a chance to earn their way into the Masters at the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship or the Valero Texas Open. Hughes and Conners are the lone Canadians in the WGC-Match Play field and have already received their invites.

The event in Puntacana is an opposite-field event and will likely see upwards of six Canadians vying for a victory, same goes for the Texas event.

Conners, interestingly enough, won the Valero Texas Open in 2019 but he never got to defend his title. The tournament was a victim of the COVID-19 schedule change for 2020 and was not contested. His victory in 2019 sent him directly to Augusta National the next week, taking the final spot in the field. Another Canadian would look to follow in Conners’ footsteps, certainly.

Written and intended to the GlobalGolf.ca audience by Adam Stanley

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