Connelly keeps his focus on European Tour
Austin Connelly, 20, had a chance to return to Canada as somewhat of a folk hero after his tie for 14th at last week’s British Open, but for now his priorities remain across the Atlantic.
Connelly, who is from Texas, but has dual citizenship because his father is Canadian, is trying lock up status on the European Tour for next year. He decided to decline an invitation from Golf Canada to be part of the Canadian Open field this week.
Instead of heading to Glen Abbey Golf Club in Oakville, Connelly will be in the field at the Porsche European Open in Hamburg, Germany, as he tries to lock up a place to play for 2018.
The Canadian Open would be nothing more than a one-off PGA Tour start for Connelly, though he said it was a tough choice.
“If I had finished tied for sixth (or better) I would have been on that charter, because I really would have loved to be there,” Connelly said.
Connelly was born and raised in Irving, Texas, but started playing golf at the Clare Golf and Country Club in Comeauville, N.S., when he would visit his grandparents in the summer months. He’s still a member there.
Connelly, whose father, Bill, was born in Toronto, holds dualcitizenship and has been a part of Golf Canada’s National Team in the past. He also represented Canada at the Pan American Games in 2015.
Connelly was disappointed to decline Golf Canada’s invite — he finished tied for 79th at the 2015 Canadian Open — because he said he feels the support of Canadian fans wherever he goes.
“You just don’t get that (kind of support) in other places,” he said. “Honestly, they are the best fans in the world. It doesn’t matter where I am. I’ve got so much support in Nova Scotia and just so many close family members and friends.” Golf Canada’s Laurence Applebaum, said Connelly did his country proud. He was “secretly hoping” Connelly would accept the invitation. “It speaks to the depth of Canadian golf there’s someone not a lot of people know who can finish tied for 14th at the British Open.”
Canadian/American citizen Austin Connelly will not be at the Canadian Open this week.