Silvis, Ill. — Lucas Glover made his third straight birdie and knew winning the John Deere Classic was in reach with a one-shot lead and four holes to go.
But this was not the time to be thinking about ending 10 years without a PGA Tour trophy. Conditions were too soft and pure. There were too many birdies to be made, and too many players behind him.
“Push, push, push,” Glover said. “And I think that kept me from getting complacent, kept me from getting too nervy, because I knew it was going to take a bunch more under par.”
He finished with five birdies over his last seven holes for a 7-under 64 and a two-shot victory Sunday, ending 244 consecutive starts since he last won at Quail Hollow in May 2011.
“I felt good golf coming,” Glover said. “I didn’t know how good.”
It had to be to win at TPC Deere Run, where the greens were soft from rain but still smooth as can be, the perfect recipe for birdies.
Glover was in log jam that at one pointed featured 25 players separated by three shots. Someone had to emerge, and it turned out to be him.
It started with a 15-foot birdie putt on the par-3 12th hole. He hit his approach into 4 feet and 7 feet on the next two holes, and then flushed a 7-iron to 3 feet on the 15th hole to take the lead.
Glover finished his run with a 12-foot birdie on the par-5 17th, and a 6-foot putt to save par from the bunker on the 18th that he figured would come in handy.
It never got to that. No one could catch him. He finished at 19-under 265 for his fourth career PGA Tour victory.
Kevin Na tried to make a run with three birdies in four holes until he was slowed by a bogey on the 15th and couldn’t make up enough ground. He shot a 68. Ryan Moore also closed with a 68 for a runner-up finish.
Sebastian Munoz of Colombia, who started the final round with a one-shot lead, hit a shank from an awkward stance with the ball above his feet on the first hole. He made bogey and it was a sign of struggles to come. He closed with a 71 and tied for fourth, three shots back.
“Took me three holes to readjust from that, and then did a good job from there,” Munoz said.
Also finishing three shots behind were Adam Schenk (67), Luke List (68) and Scott Brown (69).
The only time Glover felt pressure was when he had time on his hands, some 30 minutes of waiting to see if anyone could match his score.
The victory sends him back to the Masters and the PGA Championship, and it allows him to start his year on Maui at the Tournament of Champions on a Kapalua course he hasn’t seen since Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas were freshmen in college.
“I’ve always been a big believer in there’s nothing guaranteed in this game,” Glover said. “It can be easy one day and be really, really, really hard the next. Yeah, it’s been a difficult 10 years, but I never lost my faith, never lost my drive, never lost the self-belief.
“It’s a great feeling.”
Schenk had a one-shot lead with five holes to play as he sought his first PGA Tour victory. But on the reachable par-4 14th hole, he went well right into a nasty lie in the thick, wet rough. He came up short of the green in more deep grass, chipped some 20 feet long and made bogey.
Glover was playing alongside him and made another birdie for a two-shot swing. Glover kept going and Schenk had to settle for pars.
The victory at the 50th edition of the John Deere Classic makes Glover exempt on the PGA Tour through 2023, significant for a 41-year-old who had to go through the Web.com Tour Finals in 2015 just to get his full card back.
“It’s been a long 10 years. There’s been some struggles,” Glover said. “I knew it was in there. I had to clean up my brain a little bit and just hit some shots, just play golf. I never lost sight of believing I could do this and win again. It’s always nice to prove yourself right.”
Glover already was in the British Open from having reached the Tour Championship in 2019 (the 2020 British Open was canceled by the pandemic). Moore earned the lone spot at Royal St. George’s, though it was unclear he was going to take it.
Sylvania, Ohio — Nasa Hataoka of Japan was declared the winner of the Marathon LPGA Classic when the final round Sunday was washed out by relentless, heavy rain.
Hataoka had a six-shot lead over Elizabeth Szokol and Mina Harigae. She won for the fourth time on the LPGA Tour, and her first LPGA title in two years.
The final round began at 7 a.m. with hopes of beating the rain. That lasted only a few hours before Highland Meadows was soaked, and soon became unplayable.
Donna Mummert, the LPGA’s senior manager of rules and competition, said the greens were the first problem as the tournament tried to resume. By mid-afternoon, it was the fairways that were so soaked the LPGA had no choice but to end the tournament.
The LPGA said the forecast was not favorable for a Monday finish, and it didn’t help that Evian Championship — the fourth LPGA major of the year — is scheduled to start on Wednesday.
Danielle Kang, the defending champion, birdied the third hole to pull within eight shots and wanted to see the LPGA acquire more resources to be able to handle weather.
“There is 18 holes of golf left out there,” Kang said. “I played three of them. I always look at golf tournaments as 72 holes, so when we don’t get to finish 72 holes … and it’s not the LPGA’s fault, it’s not anybody’s fault. Sometimes we don’t have enough resources.”
She did not elaborate on what resources could have made a difference.
The tournament was a 54-hole event in the early 1990s.
Hataoka lost in a playoff to Yuka Saso in the U.S. Women’s Open last month. Her last LPGA Tour victory was the Kia Classic in 2019, though she won twice on the Japan LPGA later that year.
US Senior Open
Jim Furyk recovered from a rough start Sunday in the final round of the U.S. Senior Open to hold off Retief Goosen and Mike Weir by three strokes.
Making his debut in the event, Furyk closed with a 1-over 71 to become the eighth player to win both the U.S. Open and Senior Open, joining the likes of Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, Billy Casper and Gary Player.
Furyk finished at 7-under 273 at Omaha Country Club.
He won the regular Open in 2003, is a 17-time winner on the PGA Tour and won his first two PGA Tour Champions events upon turning 50 last year. This was the third senior major he’s played. He tied for 16th in the Senior PGA and was sixth in the Senior Players Championship.
Furyk played the first three holes in 3 over, finding the unforgiving rough three times on the second hole and a tricky lie in the greenside bunker on the third. Suddenly, his four-shot lead was down to one.
Furyk righted himself with a birdie on the par-5 sixth and, after going out in 2 over 37, regained the four-shot lead by the time he made the turn.
It wasn’t until he stuck his 109-yard approach to 3 feet to birdie the par-5 16th that he put away his closest pursuers, major champions Goosen and Weir. That put him three up with two holes to play.
Furyk played his final 15 holes in 2 under and finished at 7-under 273 to win the Francis D. Ouimet Memorial Trophy and $720,000.
Weir tied for lowest round of the day with a 67, and Goosen shot 69.
Furyk looked to be in full control after he followed his 64 on Friday with a 66 on Saturday.
But he bogeyed the par-5 second hole after his layup attempt from the right rough rolled across the fairway and into the left rough, and his next shot found the greenside cabbage.
Then he put his tee shot just below the lip of the left bunker on the par-3 third and needed two swings to get out. He two-putted for a double bogey that dropped him to 5 under for the tournament.
Goosen birdied the first hole and tapped in for another on the sixth to get to 4 under. It looked as if he would stall out with bogeys on two of his next four holes, but he played his last seven in 2 under to hang around.
Weir started the day seven shots off the lead and made three pushes to get within three. He rolled in a 26-foot eagle putt on the par-5 sixth, went birdie-birdie on Nos. 12 and 13, and he made birdie on the 16th just before Furyk bogeyed the 15th.
Rod Pampling (67) birdied two of the last four holes to finish at 3 under,
Bernhard Langer, who has won a record 11 senior majors, made putts of 32 and 25 feet for birdies on Nos. 11 and 12 and tapped in for another on No. 13 to pull within four of the lead. The 63-year-old could get no closer in his bid for his first senior major win since 2017. He had a 68 to tie for fifth at 1 under.
Stephen Ames, paired with Furyk, couldn’t take advantage of his partner’s early struggles. Ames plugged his tee shot into the face of the left greenside bunker on the third, took an unplayable lie and double bogeyed. He bogeyed the first two holes on the back nine to fall out of contention. His 75 left him 1 over.
Steve Flesch, who matched Furyk for low round of the tournament with his 64 Saturday, couldn’t sustain his momentum and shot 74 to finish at 4 over.
Furyk was the seventh player to have a lead of four or more strokes entering the final round of the U.S. Senior Open, and six have gone on to win.
North Berwick, Scotland — Australia’s Min Woo Lee won a three-way playoff against Matt Fitzpatrick and Thomas Detry at the Scottish Open on Sunday to clinch his second European Tour title.
Lee birdied the first extra hole after the trio had finished tied on 18-under par at The Renaissance Club following a 90-minute weather delay late in the final round.
Lee and Detry also secured places in the British Open at Royal St. George’s, with England’s Jack Senior claiming the final one on offer thanks to a tie for 10th.
The 22-year-old Lee, whose sister Minjee Lee was runner-up in the Ladies Scottish Open at nearby Gullane in 2018, had earlier birdied six holes in a row from the third on his way to a flawless closing 7-under 64.
That set the clubhouse target on 18 under and the final pair of Fitzpatrick and Detry were the only players capable of matching it after rounds of 67.
Ian Poulter, Ryan Palmer and last week’s Irish Open winner Lucas Herbert finished a shot behind, with U.S. Open champion Jon Rahm another stroke back in seventh, a result which means he loses his No. 1 ranking to Dustin Johnson.
On an extremely crowded leaderboard, Detry had emerged from a five-way tie for the lead with a birdie on the 13th. But the Belgian then missed from close range for par on the 14th at the moment the hooters sounded to suspend play due to the threat of lightning.
When play resumed Lee was the first to take advantage of the pivotal par-five 16th and his birdie was subsequently matched by Detry and Fitzpatrick, with Lee then leaving a birdie putt on the 18th just inches short of the hole.
He made no such mistake when the trio returned to the 18th for sudden death however, holing from nine feet for the winning birdie.
Australia’s Wade Ormsby had earlier won 204 bottles of whisky for making a hole-in-one on the 12th, one bottle for each yard of the hole.
South Lake Tahoe, Nev. — Vinny Del Negro became the first basketball player to win the American Century Championship, birdieing the par-5 18th hole twice Sunday to beat John Smoltz.
Del Negro, the 54-year-old former NBA player and coach making his 20th appearance in the celebrity tournament, birdied the 18th in regulation to force a playoff and won with another birdie on the first extra hole.
Del Negro had a 20-point round at Edgewood Tahoe in the modified Stableford scoring event to match Smoltz (18) with a three-day total of 69.
Del Negro had two birdies and two bogeys for an even-par 72 in conventional scoring. Smoltz had four birdies and eight bogeys in a 76.
With Del Negro in the middle of the fairway in the playoff, Smoltz hit a low drive behind large trees in the right rough. The 54-year-old Hall of Fame pitcher tried to hit a high draw between and over the trees with an 8-iron from 200 yards, but smacked a limb and hit his third into the water left of the green.
Del Negro was just off the front edge of the green in two, left his third 12 feet short and made the birdie putt. He earned earned $125,000.
Tony Romo was third with 66 points after a 24-point day. World Golf Hall of Famer Annika Sorenstam had an 18-point round to finish fourth at 64.
Charles Barkley tied for 76th among the 87 finishers at minus-28.