Golf

US Open countdown: Lucas Glover wins Open of attrition for his only major title

109th U.S. Open | June 18-22, 2009

Bethpage State Park Black Course, Farmingdale, N.Y.

Leaderboard

Lucas Glover, United States 69 - 64 - 70 - 73 276
Ricky Barnes, United States 67 - 65 - 70 - 76 278
David Duval, United States 67 - 70 - 70 - 71 278
Phil Mickelson, United States 69 - 70 - 69 - 70 278
Ross Fisher, England 70 - 68 - 69 - 72 279

The first U.S. Open held at Bethpage Black seven years prior was so full of intrigue, promise — and a star-studded leaderboard, eventually tamed by Tiger Woods.

The second time around, the championship fell flat with constant rain delays (and “mud balls”) that pushed the finish into Monday. And this time, no-names led the way.

In the end, it was Lucas Glover’s driving off the tee that pushed him past faltering Ricky Barnes and hard-charging David Duval and Phil Mickelson to win his first and only professional major title.

“I hope I don’t downgrade it or anything with my name on there,” a humbled and soft-spoken Glover told reporters afterward. “It’s an honor, and I’m just excited and happy as I can be to be on (the trophy).”

Barnes, the 2002 U.S. Amateur winner, had it on cruise control in the middle of the tournament. He set a 36-hole championship record at 132, and got it as low as 11 under midway through the third round.

After five bogeys in his first nine holes of the final round, Barnes plummeted. That left the door open for Glover, who had to get through sectional qualifying in Ohio just to get into the U.S. Open.

And except for a short birdie at the 16th hole, Glover got it done with a string of pars.

Mickelson tied Glover for the lead on the back nine with an eagle at the par-5 13th. But again, “Lefty” faltered down the stretch with a three-putt bogey at No. 15, and another one at No. 17 to record a record fifth U.S. Open runner-up finish, breaking his tie with Sam Snead.

Duval, a former No. 1 player in the world who had slipped to 882nd in the world rankings, made three consecutive birdies to get close to Glover. But a bogey at No. 17 ended his bid.

Glover, who had missed the cut in his three previous U.S. Open, survived them all.

todd.milles@thenewstribune.com

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