CHARLOTTE | Corey Conners and Taylor Pendrith are made for each other. Like Yin and Yang, they are similar and different both in journeys and in life. By complementing each other wonderfully, they represent a real strength within the international selection.
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Although golf is an individual sport, the team concept is important in competitions like the Presidents Cup. This is all the more the case when the formation is made up of players from all over the world.
In choosing the two Canadians, Captain Trevor Immelman knew their close relationship very well.
The two men have known each other for twenty years. They grew up in the Golf Canada program and played together with the Kent State University Golden Flashes under renowned Canadian coach Herb Page. They graduated from the pros at the same time without however taking the same path. But they always stayed close to each other.
They each acted as the best man at the other’s wedding. And when his faithful friend passed on the Korn Ferry circuit, the antechamber of the PGA, Conners opened the door to his family home by offering him a room.
They also play and train together at their Florida courses at Bear’s Club and Dye Preserve, Jupiter. And they share advice from the same trainer, Derek Ingram.
We are therefore talking about a real friendly union!
“Corey is my best friend. He is an extraordinary person and obviously, phenomenal at golf. He is also very pleasant to hang out with, ”recounted Pendrith about his sidekick rather known for his shy and reserved character.
” He is very intelligent. He has a degree in actuarial mathematics, he continued. He is a very calculated guy who is laid back in public, but is shy with his friends. »
Pendrith is different in this respect, however. He is smarter, although he maintains a reserve publicly. With his sporting background, particularly in hockey, he fully believes in team spirit.
This week, surrounded by veterans Adam Scott and Hideki Matsuyama, two Masters Tournament champions, as well as glorious vice-captains, the 31-year-old Ontarian who has just completed his first full season on the circuit of the PGA keeps its ears open.
“I listen to all advice. There is so much experience in this locker room. I am a rookie. I want to learn everything I can about this sport and the courses. I also learn how to behave in addition to gaining experience. There is a lot of knowledge passed on. »
Accomplices on the aisles
But if Conners and Pendrith stock up on knowledge in Quail Hollow, they can also serve their group. Because on the course, in the foursome (alternative shots) and 4-ball game formats, none of the members of the international team can complement each other better than them.
In these formulas, complicity and strategy are essential.
“He’s the guy I’ve played with the most in my life,” Pendrith said. We played in several teams together. »
“We would be very comfortable. I excel from the tees and Corey is an incredible player with his irons. If I could get the ball right in the fairways, he could work his magic on the pennant approaches from the fairways. We would be complementary. »
“We draw our energy from each other,” Conners said. If I hit a bad shot, I know he’ll fix it. If I see that he is having difficulty, I am able to help him and win the hole. »
“Our relationship is strong because of our friendship and shared experiences on the pitch. I’m very confident in his abilities and I know he is just as confident. »
The two Canadians will finally have the opportunity to speak together on Friday afternoon. Immelman decided to bring them together in the last duel of the day in the 4-ball formula (best score of the two on each hole). They will face Americans Billy Horschel and Max Homa.