There was one last possible spot open for the Masters, and Corey Conners became the improbable owner of it. The Canadian golfer won the Texas Valero Open on Sunday, becoming only the third player to Monday qualify and win a PGA Tour event. Arjun Atwal at the 2010 Wyndham Championship and Fred Wadsworth at the 1986 Southern Open were the others.
It was the fourth time Conners had successfully got into a tournament this season on a one-day qualifier. He finished tied for third at the Sony Open earlier this year.
Now Conners has a two-year tour exemption, and is automatically eligible for not only this week’s Masters, but the PGA Championship as well. He said after his victory he was excited about going to Augusta National.
“It’s amazing, I am so excited right now,” Conners said. “This is a dream come true. I am really happy how I played.”
Odds Against Conners
The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook posted Conners odds to win the Masters at 250/1, and for good reason. Only two golfers have won the week before the major championship, then took home the green jacket. Phil Mickelson in 2006, and Sandy Lyle in 1988.
Beside Conners is only making his second appearance at the tournament. He came to the 2015 Masters as an amateur, and was eligible for finishing second at the 2014 US Amateur. He shot 80-69 and missed the cut by three shots.
McIlroy Favorite to Win
The odds have moved slightily on favorite Rory McIlroy. Two weeks ago he was 8/1 according to the Westgate to win, and now he is at 7/1. The next golfer is Dustin Johnson at 10/1. Justin Rose is at 12/1.
McIlroy was at 14/1 when the odds opened last year, but winning The Players Championship shot him up the betting board. McIlroy’s strength is ball striking, but this year his putter has been strong as well. He has his best putting statistics since 2014.
if I hadn’t have won today, I would have said I don’t need a win going into Augusta,” McIlroy said after The Players. “But it’s very nice to get a win, especially doing it on this golf course.”
Tiger, Spieth See Line Movement
Woods, who has won this event four times, was the top pick in September at 9/1 to win. He has fluctuated from that number to 12/1, 15/1, and now at 14/1. He has not won the Masters since 2005, and has sven finishes in the Top 5 since then. Last year he was tied for 32nd.
Spieth seems to be trending in the opposite direction. The 2015 Masters champion is having his worst slump of his career. His highest finish this season in a regular tournament is a tie for 30th at the Valero Texas Open.
Still one gambler believes he can win his second green jacket. Jeff Sherman at the Westgate said Spieth’s odds dropped from 20/1 to 16/1 after an unidentified gambler placed a $6,000 bet on him to win.