Sun Sentinel
PGA Tour
Glover wins U.S. Open; Mickelson runner-up again



Farmingdale, NY (Sports Network) - Lucas Glover won the U.S. Open exactly two weeks to the day after he qualified to play in it, the unlikely champion of a Monday finish that began with so many possibilities for a storybook ending.

It may not have been the final chapter everyone expected at this rain-soaked major, but then little went as planned in five stop-and-start days at Bethpage Black.

Things certainly fell apart for Phil Mickelson, David Duval and Ricky Barnes.

Glover, who never even made an Open cut before this year, took the lead with his only birdie of the day, a six-foot putt on the 16th hole. Scratching his way to a three-over 73 in the final round, he beat Mickelson, Duval and Barnes by two shots at four-under 276.

The humble 29-year-old from Greenville, S.C., became only the sixth qualifier since 1960 to win the U.S. Open.

"I'm just happy I hung in there," said Glover, whose only other PGA Tour win came at Disney four years ago.

Mickelson tied him for the lead with a 25-foot birdie putt at the 12th and a four-footer for eagle at the 13th. But he made two costly bogeys in his last four holes and shot an even-par 70 for his record-setting fifth runner-up finish at the U.S. Open -- and fourth in New York.

Missing the U.S. and British Opens from his Grand Slam resume, Mickelson's latest heartbreaker came just over a week before his wife begins treatment for breast cancer.

Before her husband began this U.S. Open, Amy Mickelson had a request: bring home that trophy.

"Now we have more important things going on," the No. 2 golfer in the world said. "We've got 10 days before we get started and I think we're both looking forward to getting under the treatment plan because it's been a difficult time waiting. But we've had some positive reports in the interim."

It was the second time Mickelson took runner-up on the Black course -- he lost to Tiger Woods in 2002 -- and the New York fans whose adoration confounds even him cheered heartily through it all.

They were witnesses to a scene that's unfolded four times before -- at Pinehurst and Shinnecock and Winged Foot and now twice at Bethpage, where this time around things fell apart with short par misses at 15 and 17.

"I was right in position to finish it off, and unfortunately I didn't," he said.

He wasn't the only one.

Duval, who had a one-over 71, also earned a share of the lead with three straight birdies on the back nine. Trying for his first win since the 2001 British Open, Duval missed a six-foot par putt on the next hole, the 17th.

The former No. 1 competed at Bethpage as the 882nd-ranked golfer in the world. Proving his mettle on a big stage again, he hopes people will stop asking him if he's playing well.

"I've been saying it for a while that my scores and my results are just not reflective at all of how I feel about how I'm hitting the golf ball and how I'm actually playing," said Duval.

Barnes, the former U.S. Amateur champ who set a 36-hole U.S. Open scoring record, folded under the weight of playing in the last group of a major, making seven bogeys and shooting a 76.

He shared the overnight lead with Glover when they arrived at the second hole for Monday morning's re-start, his last tee shot from Sunday buried in the rough. Barnes parred the whole, but bogeyed six in an eight-hole span later on.

After posting just one bogey through his first 42 holes, the Nationwide Tour grad made 12 over his last 30.

"I'd be lying if I said nerves didn't kick in," said Barnes. "I hit a couple of squirrely shots, I caught a couple of mud balls. That probably rattled me a little bit."

As Barnes faltered, his playing partner in the rain-delayed final round plodded along until he found a birdie at the right time.

After making a bogey at the 15th -- his fourth birdie of the round and first three-putt of the championship -- Glover knocked his approach close on the next hole and moved one shot ahead of Duval.

More importantly, he moved two in front of Mickelson.

And with the crowd squarely in Lefty's corner, Glover knew what he had done.

"I heard some roars ahead of us, so I knew what was going on a little bit," Glover said of Mickelson's brief charge. "So to get one in there close (at 16) and sneak it in, was pretty big momentum."

Glover made two steely pars to close out the victory -- smartly backing off his four-footer at the 17th when the wind picked up, then cooly lagging it close at the 18th to ensure the win.

"It was a test of patience today, for sure," said Glover.

England's Ross Fisher (72) took fifth place at 279 -- the last player to finish in red numbers at the end of a U.S. Open where Barnes, on Sunday, became on the fourth player in championship history to reach double-digits under par.

Such a number was unthinkable on the mighty Black course, where Woods was the only player to finish under par when he won the '02 Open.

Unthinkable, that is, until the skies opened up.

Persistent rain -- which kept any round from finishing on the same day it started -- dumped several inches of water on an already soggy Bethpage, leaving the soft greens open for attack.

Glover, No. 71 when he arrived at Bethpage last week, became the fourth-lowest ranked golfer to win the U.S. Open since the rankings were instituted in 1986.

A testament to how difficult the rightly-named Toughest Test In Golf is, only Steve Jones in 1996 (100th), Hale Irwin in 1990 (90th) and Michael Campbell in 2005 (80th) were ranked lower.

Glover, who climbed to No. 18 after the win, earn his spot in the field through a qualifier on June 8.

"I didn't expect this Thursday to say the least," said Glover. "But I was playing well coming in and I knew if I put four (rounds) together I might have a chance."

Woods, the three-time U.S. Open champion, struggled to put four good rounds together.

Beginning in a driving rain Thursday, his side of the draw caught the unlucky end of all the weather delays. While the other side played through 13 hours of sunshine on Friday, Woods hit every shot of his first round in the slop.

He never forgot the last four holes, when he dropped four shots to shoot a 74. And by the time Bethpage began showing some teeth Monday, the world's best player was too far out to mount a charge.

Woods posted a 69, his third straight rounds in the 60s, to share sixth place with Hunter Mahan (72) and Soren Hansen (69) at even-par 208.

06/22 17:35:06 ET