Corey Conners and Jenna Hague Win Collegiate Season Openers

Listowel’s Corey Conners and Burlington’s Jenna Hague earned their first collegiate victories of the season yesterday, with Conners coming out on top at the Gopher Invitational and Hague earning medalist honours at the Redbird Invitational.


Conners, a senior on the Kent State University men’s golf team, became the first back-to-back individual champion in the nine-year history of the Gopher Invitational, shooting 7-under-par to claim a one-shot victory in his first event of the 2013-14 NCAA golf season.


The former Ontario Amateur champion (2010) is coming off a solid summer competitive season that saw him earn runner-up honours at the Canadian Amateur and a berth in the semifinals at the U.S. Amateur. He is Canada’s top-ranked amateur golfer, currently 26th in the World Amateur Golf Rankings.


Conners’ Kent State teammate Josh Whalen of Napanee tied for 19th in his first-ever college tournament while recent Porter Cup champion Taylor Pendrith of Richmond Hill finished tied for 24th.


At the Redbird Invitational in Illinois, Hague birdied her way to her fifth NCAA victory, leading the Ball State women’s golf team to a second place finish.


Hague posted a third-round 73 and matched the Ball State 54-hole scoring record at 1-under par 215 for the tournament. She birdied two of her final three holes to grab a one-stroke victory over the field.


The business major racked up two collegiate wins in her freshman year and became the second-ever golfer in school history to earn medalist honours at the Mid-American Conference Championship. She was named Ball State Freshman of the Year in 2012 before winning two more collegiate titles as a sophomore.


Hague’s Ball State teammates Sarah Westaway of St. Thomas and Kelsey Sear of Unionville finished tied for 41st and 60th respectively.


Elsewhere on the college scene, Mitchell’s Courtney Tolton finished T4 in her collegiate debut at the Tignanelli Towson Invitational in Phoenix as a member of the Longwood University women’s golf team.