Connor O’Learys pro surfing career got off to a spluttering start in his first heat at the Quiksilver pro but he finally arrived with a bang in his round two victory over Kanoa Igarashi .
In a nervous start Connor looked out of his depth falling behind 2016 World Champion John John Florence and wildcard Mikey Wright in round one.
In his round two do or die heat against last year rookie Kanoa Igarashi, he turned it all around. Behind going into the last 2 minutes of the heat he needed a 7 for the win and delivered when he blasted the American out of the water with a massive backhand display to get an 8 and the win.
It was in round three when he took down event favorite Julian Wilson that the surfing world really knew his name.In a big impact on the world title race O’Leary’s dominant win against Wilson and Mick Fanning’s loss to Owen Wright leaves the 2017 race wide open.
A starting wave of 6.7 in his 4th round under deteriorating conditions sent Connor straight to the quarterfinals and to the head of the rookie of the year que.
“I was stoked to get that wave ,getting through round 4 is crucial-Im speechless right now” said Connor after taking down Owen wright and Jordy Smith by less than one point.
Battling a minor injury the round off gives him time to recover for the next heat of his life.