Monday, June 22, 2009

Lucas Glover takes Open

It finally felt like a US Open on Monday. Normally, Monday would be the day after the Open. Thanks to Mother Nature, Monday was the final day of an epic battle pitting the golfers against Bethpage Black, with the elements mixed in.

Seems like a month ago when the Open began, and when it finally wrapped up Monday afternoon, Lucas Glover was the winner. Unlikely winner? Perhaps. Glover has one other win in his career, and that came 5 years ago. He was a contender during the Quail Hollow championship, but was unable to close the deal. This time, he practiced what he had been preaching--patience. An even par back nine helped ease the pain of a 38 on his opening nine holes. The teeth of the Black course began to show as the rains finally stayed away. Couple that with the sudden arrival of that "major championship feel," and you had the world's best players hanging on for their lives. Glover stayed on task, made some nice swings coming home and won it.

There was quite a group chasing him down. Playing partner Ricky Barnes flamed out, but get past him and you had David Duval and Phil Mickelson in hot pursuit. Mickelson had it knotted at -4 after a wonderful eagle at number 13. Phil couldn't keep himself together down the stretch, making 2 bogeys in his final 4 holes. Tough finish for him. There will be those that slap him with the "choke" label again, but you won't find me in that group. Lefty dealt with a highly emotional week, and ended up with his 5th runner-up finish in a US Open. He also left with a greater perspective on what it means, considering his wife Amy begins treatment for breast cancer in exactly 10 days. 2nd place in the Open isn't the worst thing in the world.

Duval had a monster week, and had a shot to win the tournament standing on the 17th tee. It was shades of 1999, when Duval was a major factor in the golf world. He's back, having fun, and even smiling again. How long he stays relevant in golf is up to him and his ability, but seeing Duval, Mickelson, and even Tiger Woods (albeit 4 shots back), on the same leaderboard again was something that was ultimately good for golf.

Former Charlotte 49er Trevor Murphy ended up tied for 58th in the Open after a final round 80, while High Point's Drew Weaver ended up +9 for the tourney, one shot behind the low amateur of the championship, Nick Taylor.

Charlotte Bobcats continue their draft preparations, and we hope to have team GM Rod Higgins in studio on Wednesday to talk about it.

Mike Solarte

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