Winning never gets old.
Lucas Glover can attest. The 41-year-old former US Open champion birdies four in a row at back nine en route to shooting 7-under 64 to win the John Deere Classic by two strikes over Ryan Moore and Kevin Na in Silvis, Illinois.
In doing so, Glover tasted victory for the first time since the 2011 Wells Fargo Championship, spanning 10 years, 2 months and three days. His children Lucille, eight, and Lucas Jr., six, and his wife Krista saw him win for the first time.
It’s been 10 tough years, but I’ve never lost my faith, never lost my drive, never lost confidence, said Glover, a former Clemson and Wade Hampton High golfer. Yes, it’s a great feeling.
At no point during the victorious drought did Glovers Swing need an overhaul. He has long been regarded as one of Tours’ best ball strikers. As proof this week, he was fourth in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green and third in Strokes Gained: Approach. But the setting of misery has gnawed at Glover throughout his victory-less trajectory. He went into the week ranked number 120 in Strokes Achieved: Putting and he tried an assortment of drills to break the spell. Too much, he said.
If there was anything to try, I’m sure I tried, Glover said, also closing his eyes.
Glover found his groove on the second round at TPC Deere Run and shot 8-under 63 with his putter behaving. A day later, he witnessed an all-too-familiar tale of the past decade: The putter betrayed him when he missed a few shorts to shoot 70 and chased 54-hole leader Sebastian Munoz by four strokes.
Most people are picking up putts of the length he missed this week, CBS analyst Colt Knost noted.
But not on Sunday, when the preferential lies were in effect for the final lap due to heavy rain over the weekend, leaving the track soft, long and vulnerable to low scores. Twenty-one players were within five shots of the lead coming in for the day, setting up a wild trophy hunt that did not disappoint. While Munoz stumbled early and fired his second shot into the opening hole, and Adam Schenk shot into the lead with his own streak of four birdies in a five-hole stretch, Glover caught fire from number 12 with four birdies in a row to climb to 18 below. That, combined with a Schenk bogey at 14, gave Glover a two-stroke lead. He took one last birdie at number 17 to finish at 19-under 265, becoming the seventh player to win a PGA Tour event in the 2000s, 2010, and 2020.
Glover, the world No. 115, showed signs that he was on the brink of breaking through, taking fourth place at the Valero Texas Open in April, which was his best finish on the Tour since finishing third in the 2016 Shriners. hospital. for Children Open.
I sensed a good wave coming, he said. I didn’t know how well.
Even when he took charge, he still had to prove to himself that he could take out what would become his fourth career title and join the over 40s like Stewart Cink and Brian Gay, not to mention the 50 year-old Phil Mickelson as this season’s winners.
I think I did a good job of keeping the pedal down, he said. Pushing, pushing, pushing, and I think that kept me from getting complacent, making sure I didn’t get too nervous, because I knew it was going to be a lot more substandard.
Glover’s short stick proved to be the difference maker. In March, he began working with Ward Jarvis, who helped him develop a new stroke routine. Two weeks ago, while he was at home, he made a small change.
I started taking a practice shot behind the ball instead of next to it because it helped me with my setup, he explained.
On the final round, Glover took just 25 putts and took more than 2 strokes against the field on the greens, taking fifth in the field on the day. Plus, he hit every putt from within six feet, the distance that has haunted him the most. That included a 6-foot par putt at 18.
It was a knee-jerk. I felt it a little, he said. Today’s greens were just perfect.
Just like that winning feeling again.
I never lost sight of believing that I could do this and win again, he said. Probably the most satisfying thing is proving to myself that I could do it and proving a lot of people wrong.
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