The former U.S. Open champ caught fire Friday afternoon at Sedgefield Country Club, playing the first 16 holes of the par-70 layout in 10 under to give himself a chance at the rarified air of a sub-60 score.
But Glover’s putter, which had been surprisingly cooperative throughout the day, failed him when he missed an 8-footer for birdie on No. 17. Then it cost him again when he left a 27-foot putt for birdie – and a 59 – a mere 19 inches short of the target.
Then it really abandoned him when Glover nearly whiffed his short par attempt, left to stomach a closing three-putt bogey for a 61.
“I kind of lost concentration a little bit, got eaten up by the moment,” Glover said of his short miss to end the round. “You know, wasn’t focused. My fault, stupid, but it happens.”
Glover’s Achilles’ heel has long been the putter, as he entered the week ranked No. 161 on the PGA Tour in strokes gained putting. Despite the lackluster finish, Glover still picked up more than 3.5 strokes on the field with the putter during the second round, and at 10 under he sits in a tie for second, two shots behind leader Si Woo Kim.
It’s a somewhat surprising result considering this is Glover’s first start since the Quicken Loans National in June.
“Five weeks of playing, was a little golfed out. Wanted some family time, and took some family time,” Glover said. “Just had a situation with my father-in-law a couple weeks ago, so withdrew from Hartford, and he’s doing better, so here we are.”
Glover has only one top-10 finish in 2016, but it also came in the Tar Heel State – a T-8 at the Wells Fargo Championship in May. After a scintillating round at Sedgefield, he’s now in position to add to that total.
“I didn’t have very many expectations, which is probably why it happened,” he said. “I’m seeing the lines really well with the putter today and speed matched, and some crazy ones went in and had a chip-in, and it just turned into one of those days.”