NOTHING could be finer for South Carolina’s Lucas Glover than his stunning victory in the 2009 US Open.
The unheralded 29 year old had only won one PGA Tour victory and took a week off the secondary Nationwide Tour in his successful attempt to qualify for the open.
Glover held on to finish at four under, leaving the trio of Phil Mickelson, David Duval and Ricky Barnes at two under.
Glover left it till the final round of the week to have his one and only three putt, but in the end he only needed to bogey the final hole to win after Barnes missed his birdie putt. Glover gratefully knocked it in for a par.
“It was a test of patience. It was tough,” Glover said later, cracking probably his first smile of the day. He wasn’t the only one doing it tough.
Barnes, who at one stage led the tournament with 12 under, posted a string of bogies during the final round but was still in with a rough chance on the final hole.
Crazy Phil Mickelson had a back nine charge, taking the joint lead with an eagle, but bogies on 16 and 17 saw him take the dubious honour of having the record for the most number of Open runner-up finishes. He now has five and leaves a distinctive list of golfing greats on four.
Mickelson was the clear crowd favourite and it looked for some time it would be a fairytale win, considering both his history at the tournament and his wife’s health issues.
Tiger Woods had his chances also, but the birdie putts just weren’t dropping for the great one.
In his first Open, Michael Sim was the best of the Australians and further added to his quickly growing reputation. He finished at four over tied for 18th. He needed to finish in the top 15 to guarantee a place next year, but the way his talent and composure has developed that shouldn’t be a problem.
Adam Scott failed to capitalise on his early success and finished on eight over, probably not too disappointing considering his indifferent form coming into the championship.
The only other Australian to make the cut, 2006 Champion Geoff Ogilvy, will be disappointed with his 12 over.