Henderson, Conners the faces of Canadian amateur golf

Sixteen year old amateur Brooke Henderson unleashes a drive off the fourteenth tee at FireRock...

Sixteen year old amateur Brooke Henderson unleashes a drive off the fourteenth tee at FireRock (cct) Golf Club on day two of the PGA Women's Championship of Canada in Komoka, Ontario on Wednesday, July 30, 2014.(DEREK RUTTAN/ The London Free Press /QMI AGENCY)

Ryan Pyette, The London Free Press

, Last Updated: 7:46 PM ET

The London Hunt Club isn't just the home of the LPGA pros this week.

It's the place to see the new faces of Canadian amateur golf, too.

On Monday, Brooke Henderson, the 16-year-old U.S. amateur runner-up, took part in a pro-am launch to the CP Canadian Women's Open. Listowel's Corey Conners also dropped in for a Golf Canada-assisted pit-stop on his way home from the Atlanta Athletic Club, where his U.S. men's amateur run ended in the final against unheralded Korean Gunn Yang this past weekend.

“It speaks highly of the direction Canadian golf is going (to have two Canucks in the final),” the 22-year-old Conners said. “Right when we got (to Georgia), I got to see a little of the women's am on TV and it was awesome to see Brooke do so well. Definitely, it was (inspiring).”

Conners is a shoo-in to be named to Canada's roster for the World Amateur Team Championships in Karuizawa, Japan Sept. 3-14. He called the past week, in which he played 36 holes in a day twice (including Sunday's final match) and racked up around 150 holes in total, “mentally and physically grueling”.

“The course was tough, it was pretty hot out there and I had some pressure putts and thought back to all the putts I holed at Listowel (Golf Club) in practice and tried to re-live those moments,” he said. “It's pretty cool everybody back home was cheering for me. I'm proud to be from there and thankful for everyone supporting me.

“I had lots of energy throughout, but now that it's over, I feel kind of exhausted.”

The hotel Conners stayed at in Georgia didn't have the Golf Channel so he couldn't catch any highlights of his own run each night. But he had Kent State University teammate Taylor Pendrith, his caddy, keeping him loose, especially during the all-business, little-chatter final with Yang.

“We had a lot of fun,” said Conners, who reached the semifinal in the same event last summer. “I think this (result) will get me some opportunities but I haven't really thought a whole lot about it. It's all happened fast. I'm not sure what the plan will be for the next year yet. I'll have a bit of time to rest and figure things out.

“I'm going to go home, obviously practice, mostly in Listowel, and go from there.”

ryan.pyette@sunmedia.ca

Twitter.com/RyanatLFPress


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