So many amazing stories belonged to contenders all around him Monday at Bethpage Black, from Phil Mickelsons stirring bid to win for his beloved wife as she battles breast cancer, to David Duval coming out of nowhere to nearly win for the first time in eight years.
Glover kept his cap tugged low and played the kind of golf that wins a U.S. Open under any conditions.
It was a test of patience, thats for sure, Glover said. It was just heart today.
It was sheer heartache for Mickelson.
His wife, Amy, is due to have surgery for breast cancer next week. She left cards and text messages asking him to bring home the silver trophy from a U.S. Open that has taunted Lefty for a decade.
Right when it was in his grasp, Mickelson let it slip away again.
He missed a three-foot par putt on the 15th hole, and another par putt from eight feet on the 17th that ended his dream finish. Mickelson closed with a 70 and wound up in a three-way tie for second with Duval and 54-hole leader Ricky Barnes.
Mickelson left Bethpage Black with the wrong kind of distinction. He set the U.S. Open record with his fifth runner-up finish.
Certainly Im disappointed, Mickelson said, but now that its over, Ive got more important things going on.
And, he added, then paused, oh, well.
Even more stunning was the revival of Duval.
The former No. 1 player in golf came to the U.S. Open as a qualifier who had plunged to No. 882 in the world. Showing remarkable resiliency throughout the week, Duval recovered from another big number ' a triple bogey from a plugged lie in a bunker ' and surged into a share of the lead with three straight birdies.
Tied for the lead with two holes to play, his 5-foot par putt on the 17th cruelly caught the back of the lip and spun 180 degrees out on the other side. He shot 71 for his best finish on the PGA Tour since he won the British Open eight years ago.
Barnes, who set the 36-hole Open scoring record, never had much of a chance. His swing got him into more trouble than he could handle as he went out in 40, 5 over par, and never quite recovered until it was too late.
That left Glover the most unlikely champion.
The 29-year-old from South Carolina, who chews tobacco and listens to Sinatra, had not won since holing out a bunker shot on the final hole at Disney nearly five years ago.
But this was no fluke.
Once he was handed the lead by Barnes collapse, Glover was rock-solid on a water-logged course. And when he hit two of his best shots of the final round to the 16th green for his lone birdie, it made for an anticlimactic finish to a U.S. Open that had more delays than drama.
It was the first time the U.S. Open ended on a Monday without a playoff since 1983, courtesy of relentless rain.