Rookie Corey Connors Day 1 Leader at Valspar

Earlier this week, PGA rookie Corey Connors missed qualifying for the Valspar Championship by six strokes. On Wednesday, he found out he was in the field when another player withdrew.

At the end of Thursday, he was leading the tournament.

Connors had five birdies against one bogey to take the lead at Valspar with a 67. The 26-year-old has never finished in the top 25 of an event in 18 prior tries.

“I just finished (the Monday qualifier) and got a call from the Tour saying that I was in,” Conners said. “It was obviously a great feeling to get into the field and I kind of had a mindset of trying to take advantage of sort of a good break.

“I seem to play well on difficult golf courses. Usually (there’s) nothing real flashy about my game. I don’t overpower it, but everything is really solid and on the tough courses, just getting the ball in the fairway and getting solid iron shots on to the green and in a spot where you can get a chance for birdie.”

Tiger Woods was four strokes off the lead and 1-under through the first 18 hole drawing lots of attention.

“I feel like I’m pleased with every aspect of my game,” Woods said. “I drove it well, I hit a lot of good iron shots today and I had some good speed on the putts. … I thought I really did well today, overall.”

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