Lucas Glover came through as others came up short
A look at how Lucas Glover held on to win the U.S. Open on Monday . . . and what Phil Mickelson, David Duval and Ricky Barnes did to finish in a three-way tie for second, two shots behind the champion.
He had three bogeys on the front nine, but Glover never lost the lead in the final 12 holes. He made only one birdie, and it was timed perfectly. In a tie for the lead after hitting a flawless drive on the 479-yard 16th, he hit a 173-yard eight-iron six feet from the hole and made the birdie putt. With his challengers faltering ahead of him, he suddenly had a two-stroke advantage. After a par on the 17th, which had bedeviled Phil Mickelson and David Duval moments earlier, he walked to the par-four 18th leading by two. Eliminating any possibility of a Jean Van de Velde moment, he played safely, hitting a six-iron off the tee, then two-putting for par and a two-stroke win.
In his words: On having his name engraved on the Open trophy: “I hope I don’t downgrade it or anything with my name on there. It’s an honor, and I’m just excited and happy as I can be to be on here.”
The crowd favorite missed two short par putts in the final four holes to finish second in the Open for a record fifth time. He had moved into a share of the lead with a 35-foot birdie putt on the 12th hole and an eagle at the par-five 13th. Despite a bogey at 15, he still shared the lead as he reached the par-three 17th, but his tee shot landed in the rough short of the green and he couldn’t get up and down. Moments later, Glover birdied No. 16 and Mickelson found himself two shots out of the lead. His even-par 70 was the best score among the top four finishers. He leaves the tour for an indefinite time to be with his wife, Amy, who will undergo treatment for breast cancer.
In his words: “Maybe it’s more in perspective for me because . . . I feel different this time. I don’t know where to go with this, because I want to win this tournament badly.”
He seemed to be out of the running after a triple-bogey six on the third hole. But then he began to resemble the David Duval of 10 years ago, when he was No. 1 in the world, more than the David Duval of 2009, ranked No. 882. Three straight birdies on Nos. 14-16 put him into a tie for the lead. No. 17 changed that. After his tee shot landed in the rough short of the green, he chipped to five feet, but his putt lipped out at almost the same time Glover birdied 16. He needed a birdie on No. 18 to apply pressure on Glover but could manage only a par. Nevertheless, he jumped 740 spots in the world golf ranking to 142.
In his words: “I probably had a lot more fun out there in the heat of it, especially over there on the theater of 15 through 17, 18, than I’ve had on a golf course in a long time.”
A Nationwide Tour player the last four years who had made only six cuts in 12 PGA Tour events this year, Barnes couldn’t get his driver to cooperate and shot a five-over-par 40 on the front nine. The 2002 U.S. Amateur champion, who had built a six-stroke lead at 11 under par in the third round, had six bogeys from the fifth hole through the 12th. A birdie at No. 13 got him back to two under and back in contention. He then parred out and, playing with Glover, had a birdie putt on No. 18 that could have applied some pressure on the leader, but Barnes’ effort slid just past the hole. His best finish on tour moved him from No. 519 in the world to No. 153.
In his words: “When you know you’re right there, it’s a tough one to swallow. But I would say a lot, lot more good came out of this week than bad.”
-- Mike James