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Glover stands tall to overcome sentimental hopes

Iain Carter | 19:34 UK time, Monday, 22 June 2009

The golfing world was nearly turned upside down, we almost drowned in tears of emotion - not the rains - but in the end a PGA Tour journeyman was crowned a major champion.

David Duval couldn't quite give us a winner ranked nearly 900 in the world, Phil Mickelson couldn't quite get over the line - again - at a US Open. Five runner-up finishes for Lefty now, for Duval an utterly unexpected return to golf's top table.

But no one would have predicted Lucas Glover as the winner when this elongated week began. Anyone who says they did is surely speaking with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight.

The 29-year-old from South Carolina was last man standing and to come home on a breezy US Open course in level par was just the sort of golf that wins US Opens.

Mickelson had charged into the picture by birdieing the hardest hole on the course, the 12th, and then eagled the 13th. But in the end he dropped shots on two of the last four holes. Those bogies cost him a play-off.Phil Mickelson

It was in the three-time major winner's hands and he let it slip. It wasn't an "I'm such an idiot" capitulation like Winged Foot in 2006, but he'll still be kicking himself all the way back to California.

Duval swung so impressively for much of the final round and seemed to be pressing the accelerator at just the right time with three birdies in a row from the 14th.

All this after his triple bogey at the short 3rd when he plugged under the lip of a greenside bunker.

Duval's tee shot at the 17th came up just short and despite the clinging rough from which he was playing, he chipped well. It looked a good putt too, until it horseshoed out.

The golfing gods had been smiling on him until that point but he still had a brave but unsuccessful shot at birdie at the last.

It's good to have the 2001 Open champion back - can he sustain it? We'll get some idea maybe at Turnberry next month.

Given the weather - we've had frogs in fairways this week - maybe it was written in the stars that a Fisher might win? Well, that was a thought as he eagled the 13 to move to within a shot of the lead.

The big-hitting Brit just couldn't hole the crucial putts when he needed to. His three-putt at the 17th was the result of being bold with the first one up the hill.

Crucially, he has felt the heat of the back nine at a major for the first time and there will be more chances. He joins Paul Casey and Lee Westwood as potential British major champions. His two bogeys in the last four holes show he's not quite ready yet.

His time will come.

Lucas Glover

And it most certainly has already for Glover. Full credit should go to the likeable American for keeping his composure down the stretch.

He possesses a wonderful swing and his technique is sound. Now he knows that he has what it takes between the ears and that's a fantastic 15th club.

How he copes with the inevitable spotlight that will follow him as US Open champion will be perhaps the most significant factor in his career going forward.

It's also interesting to note the tenacity of Tiger Woods despite being uncharacteristically let down by his short game this week. How he will rue the four shots he squandered at the end of the first round. How many shots did he lose by? Four.

A final thought, it was great fun sending updates at twitter.com/iaincartergolf. My 5 Live colleague Jay Townsend also got involved at JayATownsend and we're sure to continue the service wherever possible.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    "But no one would have predicted Lucas Glover as the winner when this elongated week began. Anyone who says they did is surely speaking with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight."

    Bit of a strong statement!! I mean why would anyone choose the PGA Tour's number 1 ranked driver, a former President's Cup player who had been having a good year and competed twice already in fairly pretigious tour events;
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/606/F13930418?thread=6683471&show=50
    what's that tooting noise you ask? Why it's me blowing my own trumpet.
    Sadly i've got nothing to show for it as i've always felt that betting on golf is a mugs game. By the way Bob Bubka, the golf analyst and reporter (much like yourself) also called it.

    CONGRATULATIONS LUCAS GLOVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Comment number 2.

    Well congratulations to Lucas Glover for sure. He may be a journeyman winner but he was the last man standing in what was a nail biting run in.

    Not quite 20/20 hindsight but Thomas Bjorn on Sky predicted Glover to win at the end of round 3, of course there was a gap for Barnes/Glover then though. Feel sorry for Phil though. Feel like he deserves a US Open and the story was definitely there for him.

    Only thing that marred the coverage for me was TV commentators insistence on focusing on Tiger Wood as being THE threat even with 2 holes to go and all he'd done was play like........a journeyman. Can forgive those who caught choke-itis on the back nine - hadn't seen anything like Ricky Barnes' 'chicken wing swing' since I played off 24 but generally Ross Fisher came out well and should do well in the future, unless he's also caught 'putt-like-Garcia-itis'. And David Duval.....welcome back.

    So with the weather getting out of the way, and in spite of the USGA, the US Open gave us some great back 9 drama. Roll on Turnberry.

  • Comment number 3.

    ok- even in a strange week let's see how i did?? mickelsohn, woods, and stenson all made the top 10. (not exactly the half i predicted, but hey it was a weird week) followed by poulter(18th), ohair(23rd), cink (27th), scott (36th), furyk (33rd), ogilvie (47th) and cabrera (54th) and notice none of my picks missed the cut!!!!~ danke

  • Comment number 4.

    Nice call chilli, and it's not totally beside the point that your other pick, David Toms, could so easily have been leading the tournament, so many short putts did he miss before he clattered the woodwork at #8 on Friday and took triple. Toms is playing superbly and will surely win soon-ish.

    Lots of story-lines but I felt Woods played better tee to green than on many occasions when he's won. Kind of refreshing to see him miss some of those crucial putts that are usually so automatic for him.

  • Comment number 5.

    Like Kwini and chilli, I thought Lucas had as good a chance as any. I even put a few quid on it a 175/1. Looks like I`ll be getting that golf trip away afterall. Well done, Mr Glover!

  • Comment number 6.

    Glover wins $1,350,000 prizemoney!

    Once again we are reminded that golf is a bit like a chimp with a typewriter. Sooner or later, by chance, the chimp will write the complete works of Shakespeare.

    I am going to take up golf. Or writeing.

  • Comment number 7.

    L A,

    I'd go for golf, I don't fancy your chances in WRITEING. Besides, everybody knows that you need more than one chimp with one typewriter, it's infinite chimps and infinite typewriters.

  • Comment number 8.

    I thing this open was not fair : only Tiger woods is in the final top 8 and played on thursday. Duval, Barnes, Mickelson, Fisher, Glover, mahan and S. Hansen did not have to play on that day.

    I know Tiger don't want (need) excuses but he has one.
    He is the only player in the field to score in the sixties en the final 3 rounds.

    Not fair !!!

  • Comment number 9.

    His time will come.

    .....like Montgomerie, Westwood, Garcia.

    Easy to say, but mental strength is something that us Europeans always seem to lack. Although not a fan of his, Harrington 'thinks' he is the best player on tour, even though he probably has only the equal talent of the likes of Fisher and Wilson who don't have it in their heads.

  • Comment number 10.

    ckelecom,

    Who said golf was fair?

    Tiger has been on the other side of the draw plenty of times - in fact the last time the US Open was at Bethpage, Sergio suggested that play would have been cancelled had Tiger been out in the worst of the weather as Sergio had been. Was he just being bitter or was he basing that on something? Who knows.

  • Comment number 11.

    chilli,

    Doh!

  • Comment number 12.

    6. At 10:54am on 23 Jun 2009, L A Odicean wrote:
    Glover wins $1,350,000 prizemoney!

    Once again we are reminded that golf is a bit like a chimp with a typewriter. Sooner or later, by chance, the chimp will write the complete works of Shakespeare.

    I am going to take up golf. Or writeing.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    It try golf before 'writeing' if you want to earn your fortune...

  • Comment number 13.

    I'll maybe hold off on the congrats to Glover, call me old fashioned but is golf not meant to be a sport for people with some manners? Obviously not as the new US Open Champion was seen spitting after almost every shot....there is NO place for that in the game!

  • Comment number 14.

    Spoff,

    Doh!

  • Comment number 15.

    ckelecom, I agree with you. We can talk about missed puts and a short game not as superb as it normally is but is there anyone out there who doesn't think Tiger would have won this had he been in the other half of the draw? I'm not trying to make an excuse as he's benefitted from this before but I think any other explanation offered for why Tiger didn't win is ignoring the obvious.

  • Comment number 16.

    Proof again if it was needed of Tiger's amazing fighting qualities. Most golfers would have given up on their chances if they are 10 shots or so behind the leaders after the first round, if not deliberately certainly sub-consciously but I believe Tiger thinks anything is possible and never ever gives up.

  • Comment number 17.

    to 14 - L A Odicean

    Thank you for taking my comment in the right spirit, I was half expecting to see a torrent of abuse!

    13 - action09 I totally agree with you, my four year old was watching the end with me, not an example I want to see him set.

  • Comment number 18.

    now that ken brown has lost one of his jobs from a certain sports channel could he please have some input to these blogs because he knows what hes talking about.

  • Comment number 19.

    Unlike Howard Clark who stumbled embarrassingly through Sundays Sky coverage of the French event, he's another one who needs a firm nudge of his perch.
    Makes viewing cringeworthy.

 

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