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By Rex HoggardJune 23, 2009, 4:00 pm
CROMWELL, Conn. ' Win a Super Bowl and youre headed to Disney World, or at least the mouses marketing machine would have you believe. Win a U.S. Open and your next stop is Cromwell ' population 13,552 and maybe the coziest Tour stop this side of Harbor Town.
For the record, Lucas Glover outlasted a cast of contenders large and small on Monday to end the 109th U.S. Open right as it was getting interesting and celebrated in Manhattan at Clarks, home of the world famous cheeseburger where you can add bacon and a fried egg for $1 extra.
Glover and family crashed in the City ' Times Square, of course ' and on Tuesday did more media than a So you think you can dance winner. In order, Glover made appearances on 'Live with Regis and Kelly,' CNBC, Jim Rome, Mike Tirico and Scott Van Pelts ESPN Radio show and, when we caught up with his manager Mac Barnhardt with Crown Sports, he was in the green room prepping for the 'Late Show with David Letterman.'
Its been a great time, Barnhardt said.
Late Tuesday Glover will fly to Cromwell ' on a private jet courtesy the folks at Travelers ' because he committed to this weeks event before he was an Open champion and the silver hardware doesnt make his word any less valid.
Ricky Barnes, the swashbuckling guy who Glover covered his final 36 holes at Bethpage alongside, began his post-Open week late Tuesday ' a U.S. Open sweater draped over his slumped shoulders, San Diego Chargers hat pulled low on his head and looking more college sophomore than Bethpage also-ran.
Hed hit the City as well. Dinner with friends, a little extracurricular activity at a Manhattan hotspot, a hazy commute to TPC River Highlands. It all seems surreal the way the games biggest events bookend with the reality of Tour life.
In a sport that has no off-season, the games four biggest events are followed by more games.
It felt like a two-week long tournament, said Barnes, who fittingly enough is sponsored by an energy drink.
Barnes reflected on his Bethpage adventure for exactly 24 hours before the clock started anew. No time to sit on the couch and veg. No plan to get away from things and recharge. Just more golf.
Barnes, a Tour rookie, has never seen TPC River Highlands and hoped to at least walk nine holes before the rains arrived on Tuesday. Hes not in Wednesdays pro-am and more than likely his first hole on Thursday will be the first time he will be seeing it. For the record, its a 443-yard downhill par 4 that bends gently to the right.
Barnes hadnt even seen his rousing putt for birdie at the 72nd hole that could have forced a playoff.
It's so funny I'm watching, I think it was Golf Channel and ESPN this morning. Did a phone interview, I'm kind of talking to this guy, and I'm waiting for them to show this final putt, Barnes said. If it had gone in, it might have changed the outcome. Who knows what it would have done. But they didn't even show it.
But then the putt that refused to drop is probably not what Barnes will spend the next few weeks mulling. Through three rambling rounds the Northern Californian led everyone not named Glover by five strokes. But that was before the U.S. Golf Association marched him back out onto the golf course in the Sunday twilight and, as esteemed golf writer Dan Jenkins wrote, Barnes realized he was leading the U.S. Open.
Its the reality of major championships, the pressure builds, the weak buckle and those who can keep their lunch down smile for the cameras with a big silver keepsake at the end of the day.
Barnes will replay that final round more times than your average sports psychologist would like. Even Tuesday his mind was already in mental TiVo.
I was probably just as shaken up coming off of No. 12 (a bogey), letting the round get completely away from me when I still had the lead. You know, 80 was in the picture really easily, Barnes said.
In that respect, it may be best that Barnes gets right back to work. You know the saying, idle hands, inundated mind.
As for Glover, Charles Warren ' who played with Glover at Clemson and is one of his closest friends ' said its probably best hes here this week instead of back home in Greenville, S.C.
It would be crazy back in Greenville, Warren said. I mean, ticker-tape parade, Bobby Jones stuff.
Welcome to Cromwell, Conn., the perfect salve for an Open hangover.
Note: Lucas Glover stops by the 'Grey Goose 19th Hole' to talk about his U.S. Open victory, Wednesday at 8 pm. ET.
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