- By Iain Carter
- BBC golf correspondent
Lucas Glover’s remarkable career is a stunning reminder that persistence pays off.
It’s a valuable message for Britain’s Tommy Fleetwood and Charley Hull, for whom frustration is mounting despite playing some of the best golf of their careers. Neither can cross the finish line as they strive for milestone victories.
Instead, two Americans benefited, the 43-year-old Glover stunningly recording a second consecutive PGA Tour win after Lilia Vu collected her second major in Surrey.
What was striking about each of these successes was the efficiency of both winners on the greens, a quality that eluded Fleetwood and Hull as they pushed for breakthrough triumphs.
Fleetwood finished third at the FedEx St Jude Championship, his 22nd top-five at the American circuit where he has yet to capture a trophy.
He is “the first player in PGA Tour history to surpass $20m (£15.75m) in official career earnings without a win,” stats guru Justin Ray pointed out on Twitter.
In the Tennessee heat, the 32-year-old from Southport was left to make missed bogeys on the second, third and sixth holes after starting the tournament with three consecutive rounds of 66 that set up a real prospect of cracking his US tour. duck.
“I hit a good putt in two and then probably a couple of putts…and that was it,” Fleetwood said. “Whoever comes in, it was just the same as every other day this week. I played really well … I felt great when I got on the court.”
This summer Fleetwood was runner-up at the Canadian Open, tied for fifth at the US Open, tied for sixth at the Scottish, tied for tenth at the Open and last Sunday was just one shot out of a playoff with Glover’s win over Patrick Cantlay.
This is very good golf against the best players in the world. His work with swing coach Butch Harmon is clearly paying off. the only thing missing is a win.
“Of course it’s disappointing,” Fleetwood admitted. “But I think I have to look at it in a positive way, be proud of the golf I play and the work we do.
“I will continue to play the way I have been playing. Even when I was in contention and in these last rounds, I haven’t made many mistakes and I feel very, very comfortable.
“I just believe it’s going to happen and I’m going to keep playing my game.”
She was then runner-up to Nelly Korda in the Aramco event at the Centurion Club with a ten on her card and now has her first runner-up finish at Walton Heath.
Ironically, it came from a monster bogey on the final green to keep her ahead of third-place Jiyai Shin to complete a one-over final round 73.
In truth, Hull were buoyed by the new world number one’s sensational final round of 67, but there were key moments where Hull had chances to apply pressure but ultimately couldn’t hit the posts they needed.
That long shot on the closing green came long after the title was decided. Until then the English athlete had remained in the metaphorical deep freeze. it was stone cold.
Hull now has six runner-up finishes since her most recent win on the LPGA Tour which came in October of last year. Like Fleetwood, it’s due to her.
The English conqueror at Memphis experienced a stunning recovery in his fortunes. Glover, who has been known not to use a golf glove, is a different man after moving to a longswinger.
Always famous for his ball-striking, the 2009 US Open winner missed all four majors this year because his scoring was so undermined by the putt.
“We always believe in ourselves no matter how bad it is,” Glover said after posting his wins. “I never gave up, but in mid-May, it was hard to go to the area some days and hard to work.
“But we went ahead and did it anyway.”
In June, Glover fell one stroke short of a playoff spot in qualifying for the US Open. It was a frustrating but eventful ride back to his car with a jovial Tom Lamb.
“Tom just looked at me and said, ‘I don’t really care that you missed that putt. That’s a process with this new fake and there’s going to be some bumps,” Glover revealed.
“But he said, ‘I can’t tell you how much better you look and how much more confident you are.’
“I had to listen to it at the time, even though I was kind of disappointed. I went on to Canada and had my best week in months.”
He was 20th in Toronto and after missing the cut the following week, has posted five top sixes in the next half of tournaments he’s played, including those two wins at the Wyndham Championship and now in Memphis.
Glover is up to fourth in the PGA Tour playoff standings, with the top 50 advancing to this week’s BMW Championship in Chicago. It’s the final stop before the season-ending top 30 round championship contest.
The South Carolina veteran is also in the conversation for a US Ryder Cup debut in Rome next month. The way he’s currently holding that long stick—which deserves some scrutiny—makes him a formidable candidate.
He admitted that the possibility of making his debut for Zach Johnson’s side first entered his mind only after claiming that second title. “I’ve never been able to and I want to,” he smiled.
In a season that includes 11 missed cuts, it would be due reward for admirable persistence.
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