Glover taking temporary demotion in stride

By Will GrayOctober 1, 2015, 10:46 pm

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – The field at the Tour Championship includes a curious intersection of career arcs. Some prospects on the rise, some stars fading into decline, and plenty of names in between.

There is, however, only one major champion on the list, and you won't hear Lucas Glover dwell on his past accomplishments this week at TPC Sawgrass.

Glover received a five-year exemption for winning the 2009 U.S. Open, then added another year to that with his victory at the 2011 Wells Fargo Championship. Those exemptions ran out in August, though, sending the 35-year-old back to earn his status for the first time since 2004.

Glover took the temporary demotion in stride, and he opened the Tour Finals with three straight top-25 finishes, including a T-9 finish last week. With a return to the PGA Tour assured, he promptly began the season finale with a 6-under 64 on Dye’s Valley Course, putting him within a shot of Rhein Gibson. Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

“It’s like the old saying goes. You dig your own grave, but luckily I’ve got a shovel,” Glover said. “It’s on me. I haven’t played well. Got into a funk and I’m trying to get my way out of it. I feel like I’m three quarters of the way there.”

Glover’s woes have long been traced back to his putting. After finishing the 2013-14 season ranked 177th in strokes gained-putting, he fell last season to 184th. He has turned around his overall performance by improving from close range.

“Got some confidence in the short putts. Finally a lot of hard work is paying off, and a lot of 6-footers and in are going in the middle of the hole,” Glover said. “There’s confidence in the stroke instead of wishing the ball in. Any golfer knows you have to have that, so that’s been the difference for me.”

Glover will return to the PGA Tour for his 13th straight season later this month thanks in large part to a workmanlike attitude that eschewed his prior credentials and focused instead on the task at hand. That same attitude also has him in contention for what would be his first win in more than four years.

“I never wanted to dwell on the past these four weeks. That’s pointless. You start doing that and these guys will kick you right in the head, because they’re really good,” he said. “It was four weeks, do your job. You’ve got a job to do, so do it. At the end of the four, if you reach your goal, pat yourself on the back. If not, go back to work. That was my mindset, totally, and still is.”

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Fleetwood, with his fancy umbrella, fires 65 on Day 2

By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 12:34 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Tommy Fleetwood looked like an Open rookie when he set out on Friday under gray skies and a cold, steady rain.

Because the Englishman doesn’t have an equipment sponsor he made a quick turn through the merchandise tent for an umbrella – but at least he didn’t have to pay for it.

“We stole it,” he laughed when asked about his Open-brand umbrella. “We got one given for free, actually. We didn't steal it. We don't always carry an umbrella. So it just so happens this week that we've got a nice Open Championship [umbrella]. It looked quite nice, the yellow and the course.”

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

It was Fleetwood’s only rookie move on Day 2 at Carnoustie, posting a flawless 65 to move into an early tie for second place at 5 under par.

Fleetwood holds the competitive course record at Carnoustie, a 9-under 63 he shot last fall during the European Tour’s Dunhill Links Championship, but given Friday’s conditions and the difficulty of this course during The Open, his 65 on Friday might have been better.

“It's not a course record, but it's pretty good,” said Fleetwood, who was stroke behind leader Zach Johnson. “If you went out, you wouldn't really fancy being 6 under out there. So I think that's a good indication of how good it was.”

It was a dramatic turnaround for Fleetwood on Friday. He said he struggled with his ball-striking, specifically his tee shots, on Day 1, but he was able to turn things around with an hour-long session on the range following his opening round.

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Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship

By Tiger TrackerJuly 20, 2018, 10:15 am

Following an even-par 71 in the first round of the 147th Open Championship, Tiger Woods looks to make a move on Day 2 at Carnoustie.

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McIlroy responds to Harmon's 'robot' criticism

By Mercer BaggsJuly 20, 2018, 6:53 am

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Rory McIlroy said during his pre-championship news conference that he wanted to play more "carefree" – citing Jon Rahm’s approach now and the way McIlroy played in his younger days.

McIlroy got off to a good start Thursday at Carnoustie, shooting 2-under 69, good for a share of eighth place.

But while McIlroy admits to wanting to be a little less structured on the course, he took offense to comments made by swing coach Butch Harmon during a Sky Sports telecast.

Said Harmon:

“Rory had this spell when he wasn’t putting good and hitting the ball good, and he got so wrapped up in how he was going to do it he forgot how to do it.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

“He is one of the best players the game has ever seen. If he would just go back to being a kid and playing the way he won these championships and play your game, don’t have any fear or robotic thoughts. Just play golf. Just go do it.

“This is a young kid who’s still one of the best players in the world. He needs to understand that. Forget about your brand and your endorsement contracts. Forget about all that. Just go back to having fun playing golf. I still think he is one of the best in the world and can be No.1 again if he just lets himself do it.”

McIlroy, who has never worked with Harmon, responded to the comments when asked about them following his opening round.

“Look, I like Butch. Definitely, I would say I'm on the opposite end of the spectrum than someone that's mechanical and someone that's – you know, it's easy to make comments when you don't know what's happening,” McIlroy said. “I haven't spoken to Butch in a long time. He doesn't know what I'm working on in my swing. He doesn't know what's in my head. So it's easy to make comments and easy to speculate. But unless you actually know what's happening, I just really don't take any notice of it.”

McIlroy second round at The Open began at 2:52 a.m. ET.

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How The Open cut line is determined

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 5:57 am

Scores on Day 1 of the 147th Open Championship ranged from 5-under 66 to 11-over 82.

The field of 156 players will be cut nearly in half for weekend play at Carnoustie. Here’s how the cut line works in the season’s third major championship:

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

• After 36 holes, the low 70 players and ties will advance to compete in the final two rounds. Anyone finishing worse than that will get the boot. Only those making the cut earn official money from the $10.5 million purse.

• There is no 10-shot rule. That rule means anyone within 10 shots of the lead after two rounds, regardless of where they stand in the championship, make the cut. It’s just a flat top 70 finishers and ties.

• There is only a single cut at The Open. PGA Tour events employ an MDF (Made cut Did not Finish) rule, which narrows the field after the third round if more than 78 players make the cut. That is not used at this major.

The projected cut line after the first round this week was 1 over par, which included 71 players tied for 50th or better.