The Canadian trio of Corey Conners, Mackenzie Hughes, and Taylor Pendrith were inducted together into the Kent State University Varsity “K” Hall of Fame as members of the 2021 Class on Oct. 9.
“Kent State has meant the world to my family. I met my wife Jenna there. We named our first son, Kenton, after Kent,” said Hughes in a tweet on Monday.
Hughes, from Dundas, Ont., was the first of the three current PGA TOUR golfers to make the journey to Kent State University in Kent, Ohio to play for the men’s golf team. Hughes played on the team between 2008 and 2012 and was named the MAC Freshman of the Year in his first season and was named to the First Team All-MAC in his sophomore, junior, and senior seasons.
Conners, from Listowel, Ont., and Pendrith, from Richmond Hill, Ont., joined their fellow Ontario native at Kent State for the 2010-2011 season, and they both played for the Golden Flashes until 2014.
Both Pendrith and Conners were named to the First Team All-MAC in their corresponding sophomore, junior and senior seasons. And while Conners was named the MAC Golfer of the Year for the 2011-12 season, Pendrith grabbed the MAC Golfer of the Year title for the following season. Conners and Pendrith were named the MAC Golfer of the Year together in their senior season.
Following his time at Kent State, Hughes went to the Mackenzie Tour the following golf season in 2013, where he finished first on the Order of Merit, earning him Korn Ferry Tour status for the 2014 season. Hughes eventually earned PGA TOUR status a few years later, for the 2017 season, where he’d go on to win The RSM Classic in just his fifth event of the season.
In 2020, Hughes advanced to the TOUR Championship for the first time, finishing on the FedEx Cup standings at No. 14.
Following his time playing for the Golden Flashes, Conners joined the Mackenzie Tour in 2015, and then the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica in 2016. He earned status on the Korn Ferry Tour for 2017, and after just one season, Conners quickly moved up the ranks to join his Kent State teammate, Hughes, on the top tour. In April 2019, Conners entered the Monday Qualifier to get into the Valero Texas Open field, and then went on to earn his first career PGA TOUR win at the event. He’d later advance to the TOUR Championship that same season, and again in 2021.
Joining his Kent State teammates on the PGA TOUR for the first time this season is Pendrith, who earned his status after finishing No. 7 on the Korn Ferry Tour’s point list for the combined 2020-21 season. Like Conners, Pendrith first joined the Mackenzie Tour in 2015. He’d go on to bounce between the Canadian tour and the Korn Ferry Tour over the course of five years before breaking through to the PGA TOUR in 2021.
All three teammates previously played together at both the 2020 and 2021 U.S. Open’s, while Hughes and Conners were also named in June as the two men’s golfers to represent Canada at the Tokyo Olympics.
Other notable members of the Kent State University Varsity “K” Hall of Fame under men’s golf are Canadians David Moreland IV (2002) and Herb Page (1985).