By Carter Brooks
Photos courtesy of James Carey Lauder and Kyle Connor
Winnipeg Jets' forward Kyle Connor will serve as the celebrity sponsorship exemption at the 100th anniversary of The Players Cup in August.
Connor, who accepted the invite from Southwood Golf and Country Club, is no stranger to the game, and will suit up for his first-ever professional tournament, running August 15th to 18th. Connor, 22, is a day-one golf enthusiast and decorated amateur participant - who is thrilled at the opportunity to line up with some of the best golfers that Canada has to offer.
“When the opportunity presented itself, I was really excited,” the back-to-back 30-goal scorer said in a conference call. “This is definitely a sport I’m passionate about and played ever since I was a kid growing up. So to be able to go out and see those types of players operate at the level they are, is going to be really exciting.”
Connor will join over 150 of Canada's best golfers in the hunt for roughly $200K from August 15th to 18th in Winnipeg. The Michigan product spent his early years on the golf course, and still remains focused on his golf game during the NHL's offseason - as short as it may be.
The Players Cup originated in 1919 as The Manitoba Open, and has served as a stepping stone for many professional golfers to reach the game's biggest stage. The 2009 The Players Cup champion Graham DeLaet has already earned over $11 million dollars in ten seasons of PGA Tour play.
The Players Cup has been played primarily at Pine Ridge Golf Course over the last number of years, as Pine Ridge played host to 17 of the last 19 runnings. It will be the 13th time that Southwood - Manitoba's oldest golf course (1894) hosts the tournament.