WINNIPEG - Hockey in the winter. Golf in the summer. A perfect combination.
Jets forward Kyle Connor took the summer portion to the extreme this week as he played in 100th edition of the Players Cup at Southwood Golf and Country Club on a sponsor's exemption.
"It was a lot of fun," said Connor following his round on Friday.
"I had some good shots, some tough holes but rolling the birdie out there on one of the holes was nice. Just the best part was watching these guys play, the range. Just trying to be a part of it and it was pretty special to watch."
The 22-year old shot 94 on Thursday and knocked off four strokes off on Friday shooting a 90 that included the aforementioned birdie on the par-3 11th hole. A hole that left Connor feeling better about his performance.
"A little bit yeah," said Connor.
"I made some mental mistakes out there, it's going to happen. But it was a lot of fun."
Before he teed off on Thursday Jets teammate Andrew Copp told JetsTV via text that he felt if Connor drove the ball well he would shoot high 70's. But if nerves got to Connor in the tee box we might be looking at mid-80's. It sounds like his teammate knows him well - Connor admitted that he was nervous at certain times throughout his two rounds.
"The first couple of holes for sure yesterday. Throughout the whole (first) round it was pretty tough," said Connor.
"Just kind of the whole atmosphere. Nothing really like it I've experienced. You can't really replicate anywhere. Felt comfortable out there (Friday), though."
The Michigan product played with local golfer Travis Fredborg (2-over 146) and Hawaiian Dalen Yamauchi (1-under 143) over the two days.
"They are great guys. We went out to dinner last night after the round and I got to know them pretty well. Hopefully we will continue that friendship."
The week in Winnipeg was also a chance to spend some quality time with younger brother Jake, who was Connor's caddy.
"It was a lot of fun. It seemed like he had one shoe on for a lot of the reads (on the green)," laughed Connor.
"It was a lot of fun to share that with him."