Get to know Valspar contender Corey Conners
Michael Reaves / Getty Images Sport / Getty

If you glance at the leaderboard heading into the final day of the Valspar Championship, you'll see some familiar names near the top.

There's eight-time PGA Tour winner and Olympic gold medalist Justin Rose, as well as Brandt Snedeker, who owns eight wins himself. Then, of course, there's Tiger Woods, drawing massive crowds and playing at a level for which the golf world has been craving the last five years.

Yet, despite all the star power sprinkled throughout the field at the Copperhead course at Innisbrook, they all chase one man: Corey Conners - an unknown who remains perched atop the leaderboard with a one-stroke lead in pursuit of his first-ever Tour victory; one that, should he achieve it, would be clinched in impressive wire-to-wire fashion.

Given Conners failed to get through qualifying earlier in the week and ultimately made the tournament as an alternate, it's fair to say his rise to prominence over the week's first three rounds was unexpected. So, if you're wondering "who exactly is this guy?", we've got you covered.


Conners, 26, hails from Listowel, Ontario, a community roughly two hours west of Toronto. He turned pro in 2015 and graduated from the Tour after the 2017 season. Overall, Conners has appeared in 20 events, making the cut in half of them.

On the course

(Photo Courtesy: Getty Images)

Conners got things started with a clean 4-under 67 on Thursday, carding just one bogey through his first 18 holes. Since then, he's remained relatively unblemished, save for a lone double-bogey in Round 2, and a string of back-to-back dropped shots on the sixth and seventh holes on Saturday.

He's been tested throughout the weekend, but with a smooth swing and a calm demeanor, has yet to seriously falter - even if some of the more vicious viewers within the vaunted Snake Pit may be hoping it happens soon.

Conners is by no means the longest hitter on tour, nor the most accurate, or flashy in terms of personality. But pitted against a notoriously demanding golf course with some of the biggest names in the sport breathing down his neck, he's shown no signs of relinquishing the lead he's built so far.

Extra tidbits

Here are a few additional quick facts about Conners as he seeks his first-ever professional win.

  • He graduated from Kent State, majoring in Actuarial Mathematics.
  • Prior to this week, his best finish on the PGA Tour was T-29 at this year's Farmers Insurance Open.
  • He can become the first Canadian to win a Tour event since Adam Hadwin took the Valspar title in 2017.
Get to know Valspar contender Corey Conners
  Got something to say? Leave a comment below!
Double bogey for Tiger. Woods falls into a co-lead.
Fried-egg lie leads to double-bogey for Woods on 16
💪 @TigerWoods ... BANG. This place is buzzing. #LiveUnder...
Another one! Tiger makes crowd roar with birdie on No. 15
The fist pumps are out. 💪 @TigerWoods ties the lead. Agai...
Tiger sinks 3rd birdie of the day 💪
Rising above the rest @PlayoffFinale. @JustinRose99 takes t...
Rose continues to roll the rock, birdies No. 14
The projected #FedExCup leader is tied for the lead. @Justi...
Rose is feeling it with the flatstick
The solo leader at @PlayoffFinale? 🐯 @TigerWoods 🐅 #Quic...
Tiger sticks it, rolls in birdie on No. 12
Look where he's aiming. 😱 Can't help but smile at this put...
Are you serious Woodland?
"That was in my top 3 drops right there." 😂 @JustinThomas3...
Despite taking drop, JT has some fun with rules official
242 yards ➡ 1 yard A near ace from @THEPLAYERSChamp. #Quic...
Simpson nearly makes hole-in-one on lengthy No. 9
Pitch perfect. Class from JT.
JT plays pitch perfectly for birdie on No. 4
Alone at the top @PlayoffFinale. @TigerWoods has grabbed th...
Tiger drains slippery birdie putt on No. 2
Back-to-back birdies. 🐦🐦 @McIlroyRory is a co-leader. #...
Rory off to hot start with back-to-back birdies
Birdie at the 1st hole. Birdie at the 2nd hole. Birdie at th...
Rahm opens Round 2 with 3 straight birdies
Even @LarryFitzgerald watches golf at work. This was his rea...
Cardinals' WR Larry Fitzgerald was fired up for Tiger's eagle on Thursday