JOHN DEERE CLASSIC
Glover’s Aggressive Birdie Hunt Pays Off In Spades
Former US Open champion Lucas Glover notched his first PGA Tour victory in more than a decade by firing a final-round 64 to win the John Deere Classic by two strokes.
Glover had eight birdies in his seven-under par effort at Deere Run in Silvis, Illinois, lifting a trophy for the first time since the 2011 Wells Fargo Championship.
“Pretty ecstatic,” said Glover, who won the US Open in 2009. “Still hasn’t really sunk in yet, but long day.
“Turned into kind of a long week with the weather. I seem to do all right in the mud, so pretty pleased,” he said after capping a weekend on the rain-softened course with a victory.
Fellow Americans Ryan Moore and Kevin Na shared second, both firing six birdies in three-under 68s to land on 17-under 267.
Overnight leader Sebastian Munoz of Colombia settled for an even-par 71 that left him sharing fourth on 268 with Adam Schenk (67), Luke List (68) and Scott Brown (69).
Glover, who started the day four off the lead, came out firing. “The focus starting out was aggressive, make as many birdies as possible, and then see where we are come middle of the back nine if it’s going well,” said Glover, who rolled in a 13-foot birdie at the first and a 14-footer at the second.
He was three-under at the turn, and responded to his lone bogey of the day at the 11th with birdies at the 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th.
“Once I got to 14 after making a few birdies, it was, ‘All right, let’s get this to 20-under and see if that’s good enough.’” He didn’t quite make it, rolling in a 13-footer at the par-five 17th for his final birdie of the day, but 19-under proved to be enough.
Focusing on 20-under, Glover said, let him “stay aggressive and not get too nervy, because I had a personal goal. I thought that’s what I needed.”
Glover, 41, said changes he’d made a few years ago in his approach to training and practice had helped him extend his career and become a contender again. “I’ve always worked hard and believed in it, but made some changes two or three years ago that (I) needed to do for more longevity,” he said. “I want to play a few more years and try to keep going. It was just getting back refocused. I always thought I could do this again, and I just needed to figure out the best way to go about it again.”
Ranked 115th in the world, Glover joined 40-somethings Stewart Cink and
Brian Gay, and 50-year-old Phil Mickelson, as winners this season.
“Pretty cool,” Glover said. “I remember that was my biggest takeaway when Tiger (Woods) won his last Masters is that his kids got to see him as a champ. That was a goal of mine, too.