Winnipeg Jets forward Kyle Connor is following in the footsteps of teammate Mark Scheifele. Connor will test his golf skills against the best on the tour in Winnipeg this summer.
Scheifele competed in last year’s PGA Tour Canada event, the Players Cup. And this year Connor will pull out his clubs for the 100th anniversary event on a sponsor’s exemption.
Scheifele carded rounds of 87 and 86 last year to miss the cut. And Connor is definitely looking to top his teammates’ score from last year.
“That’s gonna be my goal coming in,” Connor said. “Just try to beat Scheife’s round last year.”
Connor said he’s previously fired a score under 80 at the Southwood Golf and Country Club. He’ll have his brother Jacob with him to serve as his caddy.
“[It’s] definitely a sport that I’m passionate about,” Connor said, “and played ever since I was a kid growing up. So to be able to go out there and see these types of players operate at the type of level they are — it’s gonna be exciting.”
But this will be unlike anything he’s experienced before as it will be his first official tournament.
“That first tee shot, there’ll be a little nerves,” he said. “But once we get going, I think it’s just anything. When you get the competitive juices flowing, you get the round of golf going, once you’re out there on the fairways, I’m sure I’ll calm down, and hit a couple good shots.”
Connor had a bitter taste in his mouth after the Jets’ playoff elimination. He took a break from the game and avoided watching the playoffs until the final two games of the Stanley Cup final.
Connor’s contract with the Jets expires in just over a week as he’ll become a restricted free agent. With bonuses, Connor earned $1.8 million last year, but after a second straight 30-goal season, he’s due for a big raise. And the 22-year-old is open to signing in Winnipeg for the long haul.
“I would love to stay long-term in Winnipeg, so hopefully we’ll be able to work something out.” Connor said.
The Players Cup at Southwood begins on August 15.
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