Daily Wrap-up: Round 4, Wells Fargo Championship

May 08, 2011
Staff and wire reports

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Lucas Glover figures he has played more than 100 rounds with Jonathan Byrd, from junior golf when they were teenagers to their years together at Clemson and nearly a decade on the PGA TOUR.


The stakes were never as high as they were Sunday in the Wells Fargo Championship.

Glover was never better.

Clinging to a one-shot lead, Glover closed with three gutsy pars of the brutal finishing stretch at Quail Hollow, slamming his fist when he made the last one from 7 feet for a 3-under 69 and what looked to be a sure win. Then came Byrd, with two great pars of his own, followed by a shot into 15 feet that he made for birdie on the 18th for a 72 to force a playoff.

Glover wound up a winner with a par on the first extra hole, ending a drought of 41 tournaments that stretched nearly two years back to his U.S. Open win at Bethpage Black in 2009. He moved to 27th in the FedExCup standings after being outside the top 100 coming into the week (Bubba Watson remains the leader in the season-long points race).

It was the eighth playoff this year on the PGA TOUR, and the third in a row.

"I'm elated," Glover said. "Any time you win, you're pleased. It means you beat everybody. You did what you set out to do on Thursday morning when the bell rang. Against this field and on this golf course and in a tournament of this magnitude, I'm thrilled."

And against one of his best friends?

Winner's Spotlight
With his win at the Wells Fargo Championship, Lucas Glover makes a huge move of 120 spots in the latest FedExCup standings.
• Latest standings

Which charities does Lucas Glover support? Check out his player page on the PGA TOUR's charity website.
• Lucas' charities

Lucas Glover ranked first in the PGA TOUR's new stat at Quail Hollow: strokes gained - putting.
• Go to statistic

That might have helped. Glover, in his first PGA TOUR playoff, felt a sense of calmness playing against Byrd, who had won his last two tournaments in extra holes. And it showed.

In regulation, Glover hooked his tee shot so far left that it settled under a spectator. He was given a drop, then watched the ball roll down the bank toward the stream as he got ready to hit it. Because he never grounded his club -- that was his plan, given the lie on a side of a steep hill -- he played the next shot without penalty.

"Better stance, worse lie," he said.

He managed a 6-iron just over the green, hit the most difficult chip he had all day to 7 feet and escaped with another par. In the playoff, however, Glover striped his tee shot down the middle and two-putted from 25 feet.

Byrd, who went from a fairway bunker to the hazard left the green -- just short of the stream -- hit a difficult chip 25 by the hole and wound up with a bogey.

"I'm a little disappointed just because you're here to win," Byrd said. "You love to compete, especially when you get in a playoff. You birdie the last, you feel like, 'Hey, this is just going to work out.'

"If I couldn't win, I couldn't pick anybody else I'd want to win other than Lucas, so I'm very happy for him."

Glover, who finished on 15-under 273, became the first player in the nine-year history of the tournament to post all four rounds in the 60s. He never would have seen this coming.

He had only one top 10 over the last year. He missed the cut in his last three events and didn't have much confidence when he showed up at Quail Hollow.

But he figured out Tuesday on the range that the club wasn't square, it felt better Wednesday in the pro-am and off he went. This wasn't the U.S. Open, although the way he was tested over the final hour of a wild day, it felt just as difficult.

Rory Sabbatini, who closed with a 65 and was 13-under 131 on the weekend, wound up alone in third and moved into the top 10 in the FedExCup standings.

Bill Haas had a 70 to finish alone in fourth. Pat Perez, who set a tournament record with 26 birdies, had an outside chance at winning until closing with three straight bogeys to tie for sixth.

"It just proves that I can't close, so I'm pretty confident on that," Perez said, blunt as ever. "You're never going to win if you play like I did today. That's just terrible. Embarrassing."

Glover was four shots behind when he made his move by chipping in for birdie on the eighth and holing a 30-foot eagle on the 10th that gave him the outright lead that he never lost the rest of the way.

Then came a wild ride -- bogey-birdie-bogey-birdie -- that brought him to the treacherous finish. He saved par from well behind the 16th green. He two-putted from just under 100 feet on the 17th, making a 6-footer for par, then escaped No. 18 with the biggest par of all.

"With a one-shot lead, those three holes you've got to execute," Glover said. "Did I execute the full swing? Who's to say? But I executed my short game, and I made my putts."

Shot of the Day

In the final round of the Wells Fargo Championship, Lucas Glover holes a 28-foot eagle putt on the par-5 10th hole to take the lead.

Byrd was back on the tee when he heard the roar of Glover's par, knowing he needed birdie.

Glover all but predicted he would.

They had joked before the third round that they would be paired together on Sunday late in the afternoon. They probably didn't have this late in mind.

"I said, 'Why don't we plan on seeing each other tomorrow around 2 -- and it was 6," Glover said. "I think that may be why I knew he was going to make birdie on 18."

Sabbatini was among five players atop the leaderboard in a wacky final round, and the action was relentless.

Sabbatini posted at 14-under 274, and it looked as though it might be enough for a playoff as the Glover, Byrd, Haas and Perez kept finding trouble along the last five holes.

Byrd looked to be in control until closing out the front nine with back-to-back bogeys, then making another one on the 14th when his shot from the right rough also found the water. But he followed with a birdie on the 15th, then punched out of the trees on the 16th and hit his shot from 167 yards to 2 feet for an unlikely par, and closed with a dramatic birdie.

Quail Hollow: Sunday
The par-5 7th hole was the easiest with a Sunday scoring average of 4.394.
The par-4 18th hole was the toughest with a Sunday scoring average of 4.521.
About the winner
• The win is the third of Lucas Glover's career (2005 Childrens Miracle Network Classic, 2009 U.S. Open, 2011 Wells Fargo Championship).
• Glover (67-68-69-69) becomes the first player in the nine-year history of the Wells Fargo Championship to record all four rounds in the 60s.
• Glover's opening-round 67 is the lowest start by a winner of the Wells Fargo Championship. His 72-hole total of 15-under 273 is one shy of the tournament record held by 2008 champion Anthony Kim.
• All three of Glover's wins on TOUR have been in come-from-behind fashion. He entered the final round on Sunday three strokes behind Jonathan Byrd, the final round of the U.S. Open one stroke behind Ricky Barnes and the final round of the 2005 Children's Miracle Network Classic three strokes behind Rich Beem, Tim Clark and Tom Pernice Jr.
• Glover made his eighth start at Quail Hollow this week, a venue where he has enjoyed considerable success over the years. He has missed just one cut (2005) and amassed three top-10 finishes, highlighted by his win this week and a T2 in 2009.
• Making his eighth start of the season, Glover turned in his first top-10 finish since the 2010 Wyndham Championship in nearby Greensboro. He entered the week with three consecutive missed cuts (Shell Houston Open, Masters and The Heritage). Last year, champion Rory McIlroy entered the Wells Fargo Championship with two consecutive missed cuts (Shell Houston Open and Masters).
• Glover led the field this week in strokes gained putting by gaining 10.606 strokes on the field.

"I'm just a little disappointed with how I played the rest of the 15 holes earlier in the day," Byrd said.