The 29-year-old Canadian stuffed his second shot at the par 5-5 feet on Thursday and made an eagle on Friday, his putter had to work a little more when he interfered with a 24-foot eagle, but it did was an eagle anyway -under-69 to open a two-stroke lead over Viktor Hovland

“It was really solid today,” Conners said. “I didn’t take as many shots near the hole as yesterday to give me so many birdie chances, but I was really happy with how I got one today dragged out a few pars I’ve been through some tough spots and, yeah, overall a really solid day and nice to end with a strong nine ”

Conners launched like a rocket ship on Thursday, shooting under 6 through his first seven holes, but never thought of shooting a 59

“I know this golf course can sneak up on you if you are a little too relaxed,” he said

But there was a good story about the time he threatened golf’s magical number when he played on his home course in Florida, Dye Preserve

“I left a putt right on the front lip and shot 60 at the end,” he said

Conners returned to Earth Thursday, posting 66 on the way to share the overnight lead with Rory McIlroy.Conners is playing at Arnie’s Place for the third time and had missed the cut in its last two starts, but it did his affection for Bay Hill not diminished

“When I was a junior golfer, I actually came a few times and watched,” he said. “I have always loved the place, in such great condition, visually like the golf course is a lot away from the tee. You have to go with it be really precise in your recordings ”

He built his usual ball hit clinic in two rounds and is number one in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green this week and second in Strokes Gained: Approach the Green It’s no surprise he’s between 9 and 135 through 36 holes, as he is also third in SG: scrambling and sixth in SG: putting (118 for the season) Conners started his second round with a bogey on the second hole but returned for the day by sinking a 9-foot birdie putt at 7 a.m. He wedged himself on Aug. Hole (par 5) for another birdie to eight feet before the eagle landed again at 16

Conners, who is expected to finally defend his only PGA Tour title at next month’s Valero Texas Open, had made nine cuts in a row and was a model of consistency with seven top 25 finishes until he missed the cut on his previous start. When asked what the difference has been for Conners so far this week at Bay Hill, he said, “I think I had a little more rest before the event this year and had a week last week at home so I felt fresher here and definitely excited to have a good start and excited for the rest of the week ”

Adam Schupak has been hauling his laptop and golf bag and following the sun to write about golf since 1997. He has worked for the PGA Tour, the World Golf Hall of Fame and as a senior writer at Golfweek

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Corey Conners, Arnold Palmer Invitational

World News – CA – Corey Conners is 16 years old Hole in Bay Hill and leads the Arnold Palmer Invitational