Austin Connelly is another in the line of young North Americans to find success on the European Tour. The recently turned 21-year-old Canadian/Texan has locked up his card for 2018 and is looking for more after beginning the year primarily on the Challenge Tour.
Connelly is coming off a T21 at last week’s Italian Open where a Saturday 72 was the only score keeping him from contending near the top.
Speaking of contention, Connelly nearly became the youngest player to win on the European Tour since Matteo Manassero won in 2013 at the age of 17. Connelly closed with a 66 at the KLM Open last month to lose out to Romain Wattel by one.
The golf world was first introduced to Connelly after he came out of nowhere to open with a 67 at the Open Championship. He followed it up with a 66 on Saturday to tie for 14th in his major championship debut.
In 2017, the wiry golfer has made 10 of 21 cuts worldwide with two top-10s, the other a T8 at the Nordea Masters. Connelly breaks the prototypical mold of a young bomber as he averages just 278.77 yards off the tee. He makes up for it by hitting 64.14 percent of fairways and 68.31 percent of greens in regulation. His pal, Jordan Spieth, also said Connelly has a “killer instinct” on the greens.
This will be Connelly’s first start at Valderrama. It’s his third start in a row, but I think he’ll lock in to try to make a push for the Race to Dubai top 70 this week.