Lucas Glover stayed rock steady to hold off thrilling charges by fellow Americans Phil Mickelson and David Duval and claim his first major title at the weather-delayed US Open on Monday.
Five strokes ahead of the field overnight with compatriot Ricky Barnes, Glover closed with a three-over-par 73 at a blustery and overcast Bethpage Black to triumph by two shots.
The 29-year-old, whose only previous PGA Tour victory came at the 2005 Disney Classic, kept his composure in nerve-jangling conditions to post a four-under total of 276.
“It was a test of patience,” a beaming Glover said after earning the winner’s cheque for $1.35 million. “It was tough. The golf course played fantastic but it was just hard today.
“I was pretty nervous coming down the stretch and 16 obviously was huge,” he added, referring to a six-foot putt there for his only birdie of the day. “I hit the shots today that I had to hit in the situation.”
Tour rookie Barnes, like Glover a qualifier, slid out of contention with five bogeys in seven holes from the fifth on the way to a 76 and a tie for second place. Also at two under were three-times major winner and crowd favourite Mickelson, who carded a topsy-turvy 70, and former world number one Duval, after a five-birdie 71. “I put myself in a great position to close it out but unfortunately I didn’t finish it off,” Mickelson said after claiming a record fifth runner-up spot at the U.S. Open.
“Certainly I’m disappointed but, now that it’s over, I’ve got more important things going on.” Mickelson’s wife Amy, diagnosed with breast cancer last month, is scheduled to start treatment on July 1.
Britain’s Ross Fisher eagled the par-five 13th to close to within a stroke of the lead before bogeying two of the last four holes for a 72. Reuters