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Adam Hadwin, Corey Conners battling for Olympic bid at the Memorial Tournament presented by Workday

2 Min Read



    Written by Paul Hodowanic @PaulHodowanic

    DUBLIN, Ohio – Adam Hadwin and Corey Conners’ top focus at the Memorial Tournament presented by Workday is the same as most weeks: win. But there’s more than just a victory at stake for the Canadians.

    The Olympic golf qualification period ends after the U.S. Open next week, and while Nick Taylor has locked up one of the spots on Team Canada, the second spot is up for grabs and Hadwin and Conners are the leading candidates.

    The qualification criteria are based on the Official World Golf Ranking and Conners (No. 45) holds a substantial but surmountable lead over Hadwin (No. 59). The lead would be erased if Friday’s leaderboard at Muirfield Village Golf Club holds through the weekend.

    Hadwin was the clubhouse leader at 6-under when he finished his second round, with Conners at even-par, six shots back. If Hadwin wins the Memorial, his first win in seven years, he would move into the No. 2 spot on the Canadian team, regardless of Conners’ finish. That remains the case for Hadwin if he finishes in a five-way tie for second or better and finishes ahead of Conners.

    The particulars after that get fuzzy and depend on more than just Hadwin and Conners’ finish, which is why Hadwin and Conners’ minds aren’t drifting very far.

    “I am going to do my best to try and win a golf tournament. That's it,” Hadwin said. “That's my sole focus. Obviously Corey's having a pretty decent week himself right now, so, yeah, trying to win a golf tournament, trying to stay in the same frame of mind, the same process, all those sort of things and, I mean it's been seven years since I've won, so I think it's about time.”

    “Just trying to have fun on the golf course, do my thing and play well, just stick to the game plan … and keep playing well,” Conners said Thursday.

    Corey Conners holes 26-footer for birdie at the Memorial

    Conners’ second round fell apart on the back nine. Seven-under for the tournament after a front-nine 33, Conners bogeyed 10, 11 and 12 and made double on the par-5 15th. He bogeyed the 16th and 18th as well to card a 4-over 76.

    That firmly moved Hadwin into pole position, but 36 holes at Jack’s Place stand between him and a lead in the OWGR and a possible spot at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. A top finish for Hadwin this week wouldn’t secure the spot outright. There will be significant OWGR points available at Pinehurst No. 2, but whoever emerges from Muirfield ahead will benefit from controlling their destiny in the final week of qualification.

    May the best Canadian win.

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