Who better to ask about Canadians being in the hunt at Augusta National come Sunday than the only one to win the Masters?
Mike Weir says he wouldn’t be surprised if Corey Conners or Mackenzie Hughes are high on the leaderboard as the tournament winds down.
“I told them out there, I said, you guys are ready. You’ve got the experience now. You’ve been out on tour long enough. You’ve played enough big tournaments. You’ve got to have that self-belief,” said Weir.
“I think they’re both ready to do it. They’re both swinging well. They’re both coming in with good form. Their confidence has got to be high. I hope for good things for them,” he said.
After a T10 finish at last year’s Masters, Conners has a third place finish at Bay Hill and a seventh at the Players Championship in the past month.
Conners is ranked 43rd in the world, while Hughes is close behind in 51st after making the round of 16 at the recent WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.
For the record, Hughes and Conners wouldn’t be surprised if each other was in the mix on Sunday.
“Because he’s doing everything really well. He’s been driving it great his whole life, so he’ll probably keep doing that this week, as well. He’s been hitting his irons well his whole life, will keep doing that, and rolling it nicely, so he’s the same Corey that I met when I was 13 over at Listowel Golf Club trying to beat him at Future Links,” said Hughes.
“No one’s short game I’ve played with is better than Mac. His creativity, his touch around the greens, his knack for making key putts, long putts,” added Conners.
“Fortunately, he’s my partner a lot of the time in our practice rounds and I’ve reaped the benefits of him making a number of really clutch putts coming down the stretch, so that part of his game separates him from a lot of guys out here. He’s striking the ball really well, as well,” added Conners.
More importantly, as the Masters gets underway, each player believes in himself.
“I’ve been playing well lately. I’ve got a lot of confidence in my game, expecting to continue the solid play. Hopefully, keep hitting it well and make things as easy as possible for myself. Stress-free golf would be nice,” said Conners.
“Similar to Corey, I feel like my game’s in a good place and I have played in enough majors now to have the experience to feel comfortable. I think it’s about trying to get yourself in position for Sunday. The way the course is playing, it won’t take crazy low scores. It will be a test of patience and discipline to hit in the middle of the green sometimes and take your medicine,” added Hughes.
Conners will start at 9:12 a.m. local time with Charl Schwartzel and Si Woo Kim. Hughes get underway at 11:30 a.m. with Bernd Wiesberger and Carlos Ortiz.