Glover shoots 66 to maintain lead at FedEx St. Jude

Associated PressAugust 13, 2023, 08:22 am4 Minutes Reading

Lucas Glover shot a 4-under 66. He has the 54-hole lead at the FedEx St. Louis Championship. Jude. He has only made two bogeys going into the final round. Such is the state of his game that he said he needed time to think about all the things that happened on Saturday.

“Scrappy would be how I would describe that day — parts of it you could take the ‘s’ off. I got a lot of what I had,” Glover said after building a 1-shot lead over Taylor Moore.

However, Glover is steeped in common sense and was quick to laugh at his state of mind.

“Three months ago, if I was crazy at 66 — or if you told me I’d be crazy at 66 — I would have said you were crazy,” he said.

Glover took enough from his round to stay ahead at the atmospheric TPC Southwind. The irritation came from two short birdie opportunities he missed in the final three holes, a 4-footer on the par-5 16th and a sharp 6-footer on the 18th.

Even so, it was his sixth score of 66 or lower in his last seven rounds — and 11th of his last 19 rounds — and put him at 14-under 196 as the man to catch on Sunday.

And there are many in line for this opportunity.

Moore, who won his first PGA Tour title this year at the Valspar Championship, birdied his final hole for a 65 and will play in the final group.

Tommy Fleetwood rattled off three late birdies for a 66 that left him 2 shots behind as he goes for his first win on American soil. Max Homa (65) and Jordan Spieth (68) were 3 back.

“I like how I’m playing,” Homa said. “I can’t do much more than what I did. I played three really good rounds. Obviously, I left some out there, like everybody. I’m just going to keep doing it and see what happens tomorrow.”

Glover was No. 112 in the FedEx Cup standings a week ago when he won the Wyndham Championship for his first title in two years. That moved him to No. 49 — easily among the top 70 to qualify for the PGA Tour postseason — and now he has a chance to earn a top-30 spot for the FedEx Cup final accordingly on Sunday.

“I’m in a good spot,” Glover said. “Just iron out a few things and wake up tomorrow with a little more confidence than I am now and see where we are.”

While Glover has a slim lead, he has at least created a small separation. There were 16 players within 4 shots of the lead at the start of another tough day in Memphis. Now, only four players are within 3 shots.

Rory McIlroy (68) and Patrick Cantlay (66) were in the big group at 9-under 201, just 5 shots back. McIlroy decided to cut an inch off a new bike he’s using this week, and it helped a little, but not enough to make up for four bogeys that held him back.

“Overall, I feel like I’ve been stuck in neutral a little bit this week and I’m still in a decent position,” McIlroy said. “Five back to tomorrow, I feel like I could be on fire and hopefully make a run.”

Glover’s long run did not come to an end. Ever since he went on the long-haul at the Memorial, he’s been trending. He had three consecutive top-six finishes, took a week off and missed a cut on his way back, then won the Wyndham Championship and is playing with confidence.

And he remains at his self-deprecating best, such as describing how he made birdie on the opening hole.

“It was a brutal shot. I had it 98 yards down the fairway with a front pin with a backstop,” he said. “In your children’s world, I misspelled ‘it.’ … I cut a wedge, but I made it in a very fancy way.’

And then he rolled in an 18-foot birdie putt on No. 2 that made it look easy, and after his lone bogey, holed an 8-foot birdie putt on the sixth.

But his expectations are such that all he could think about when it was over were the two chances he let slip away. This is a product of remarkable form, sparked by the change in football that revived the career of a 43-year-old former US Open champion.

For now, the goal for so many is just to get to Chicago next week. Hideki Matsuyama in the No. 57 missed a good start. He shot a 30 on the front nine, to follow up with a 40. All that work turned into a round of par and no bogeys.

Canada’s Mackenzie Hughes was in good form until his 75 on Saturday, which puts him just outside the top 50 heading into the final round. The top 50 is key because these players are guaranteed spots on all of next year’s $20 million signings.

Closer to the top, Glover figures to have his hands full.

“I think the first nine holes are just pedal to the metal because they’re coming,” he said. “The best players in the world are right behind me.”

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