Corey Conners falls in U.S. Amateur final
Canadian golfer loses to 776th-ranked South Korean
South Korea's Gunn Yang has completed his improbable run to the U.S. Amateur title with a 2-and-1 victory over Canada's Corey Conners.
At No. 776, Yang became the lowest-ranked player in the world amateur standings to win the country's biggest title for non-professional golfers. Along the way, he beat five players inside the top 100, including the 44th-ranked Conners, who is from Kitchener, Ont.
The 20-year-old Yang, a San Diego State player, never trailed in the 36-hole final at Atlanta Athletic Club, pushing his lead to 2 up with four to play by rolling in an 18-foot birdie putt at No. 14. He closed out the match with a tap-in par at No. 17, the 35th hole.
"I was just trying to build up my confidence," Yang said. "I never thought that I could get the U.S. Amateur right away, I mean, one year after the surgery. This is just a dream come true."
The South Korean was 1 up after the morning round. Afternoon play was halted by a rain delay of 1 hour, 37 minutes.
Conners never led in the match, but he had a chance to push it to the 36th hole with a 15-footer for birdie at No. 17. It slid by the right side of the cup, and he settled for par.
"I had never heard of him before," Conners said about Yang. "There's a lot of good players out there. He obviously had a great week."
Conners' loss came one week after another Canadian, Brooke Mackenzie Henderson, lost in the final of the U.S. Women's Amateur.