Glover triumphs at JDC to end 10-year drought

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Lucas Glover joined an exclusive “short list” on Sunday when he birdied five of his last seven holes to charge up the leaderboard and end a 10-year winless drought by capturing his fourth career PGA Tour title at the John Deere Classic.

Not only did the 41-year-old Glover, ranked No. 115 in the world rankings, end a winless streak spanning 10 years, two months and three days, but also he became just the seventh player to win Tour events in three different decades – the 2000s, 2010s and 2020s – joining a list that includes Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson and Sergio Garcia.

“I never once lost faith, never once quit believing in myself,” said Glover, whose last win came at the 2011 Wells Fargo Championship. “Fortunately, I understand that this game is hard, and there's going to be struggles. Nobody has ever come through a long career on Tour and not had a difficult time at some point, whether it's 10 years or 10 weeks. It happens. That's where the perspective came from and the self-belief.”

Glover, who entered the week listed at +5000 to win via PointsBet Sportsbook and +4000 entering the final round, vaulted into contention Sunday thanks to nearly flawless 64 at TPC Deere Run. He started the day four shots back of 54-hole leader Sebastian Munoz and got the momentum rolling with three birdies on his front nine. He rebounded from a lone bogey at No. 11 by reeling off four straight birdies on Nos. 12-15, one more on 17 and got up and down for par on 18 to finished at 19-under 265 to win by two over Kevin Na and 2016 JDC champ Ryan Moore.

“After 14, I knew it was getting crunch time,” said Glover, who carded a bogey-free 63 in the second round to move into contention. “I wanted to keep pushing. Too many birdies, too many great players behind me, and scores were just going low. Just tried to push. Wanted to get it to 20. Push, push, push, and I think that kept me from getting complacent, kept me from getting too nervy, because I knew it was going to take a bunch more under par.”

But after a nerve-wracking 30-minute wait in the clubhouse, his 19-under total held up and Glover got to enjoy achieving a goal inspired by Tiger Woods’ 2019 Masters win: His wife, Krista, and their two children – 8-year-old Lucille and 6-year-old Lucas Jr. – were able to see him win for the first time.

“I remember that was my biggest takeaway when Tiger won his last Masters, is that his kids got to see him as a champ,” he said. “That was a goal of mine, too.”

Colombia’s Munoz, who also shared the first-round lead and was seeking his second Tour title, faded from the leaderboard early after making three bogeys over his front nine, and finished with an even-par 71 to place T-4.

With his T-2 finish, Moore earned a spot in this week’s Open Championship at Royal St. George’s by finishing as the leading player, not otherwise exempt, among the top five and ties. Should Moore choose not to accept the exemption, the player who is first on the reserve list (Adam Long) will take that spot.

Past champion Zach Johnson (T-34) and three-time JDC champion Steve Stricker (T-41), who opted not to defend his U.S. Senior Open title in favor of the 50th anniversary event, both closed with even-par 71 to sit No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, atop the list for most under-par at the John Deere Classic. In 19 starts, Johnson is 192-under, while Stricker is 186-under after 18 starts.

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DeChambeau breaks silence on caddie-gate, reveals replacement

Although he wasn’t playing this past week, World No. 6 Bryson DeChambeau was still in the headlines thanks to a winning performance with playing partner Aaron Rodgers over Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady in “The Match.” But also, DeChambeau and former caddie Tim Tucker broke their silence on their recent split and announced Tucker’s replacement.

To review: DeChambeau and Tucker, who had been together for all of eight of DeChambeau’s wins, abruptly ended their partnership mid-week at the Rocket Mortgage Classic. Ben Schomin, Cobra-Puma’s director of tour operations, stepped in for two rounds before DeChambeau missed the cut and declined to speak with media on his way out the door.

In their interview with Golf.com, both men insisted there was no falling out, but rather just some poor timing as Tucker turns his attention to a new business venture – a Bandon Dunes-based, luxury-bus transportation business set to launch in August.

“We were really tired,” Tucker said. “The season; the tour schedule was grinding on us, grinding on me. I knew I was working on this business on the side; we’ve had a very intense relationship where he works a lot of hours. It was a little bit of me not being 100 percent healthy and happy. … We made the best decision for the both of us.”

DeChambeau described the decision as a “curveball,” but noted: “That’s life. The guy helped me win a major and eight other times. I’ll forever be so grateful for everything he’s done for me and what he’s helped me accomplish. I’ll always have nothing to say but amazing things about Tim.”

DeChambeau announced Dallas National lead instructor Brian Zeigler as his new caddie, and the pair will make their player-caddie debut next week at the British Open.

Meanwhile, across the pond… Lee wins Scottish, McIlroy dodges rogue fan

Four of the top five players in the Official World Golf Rankings teed it up this week at the Scottish Open, won by Australia’s Min Woo Lee, with three of the four finishing in the top 10 at The Renaissance Club. World No. 1 Jon Rahm, the 54-hole co-leader and betting favorite via PointsBet Sportsbook at +175 entering Sunday, finished solo seventh at 16-under 268, three shots back of 22-year-old Lee, who won his first Rolex Series title on the first hole of a three-way playoff over Thomas Detry (+450) and Matt Fitzpatrick (+250). World No. 3 Justin Thomas (+5000) finished T-8 at 15 under while No. 4 Xander Schauffele (+2500) was T-10 at 14 under.

But it was a bizarre incident involving World No. 11 Rory McIlroy that garnered attention going into the weekend. Midway through the second round on Friday, a spectator wandered onto the 10th tee, grabbed an iron out of McIlroy’s bag and set up to take a swing before security diffused the situation.

"I was surprised. Everyone saw what happened on TV," said McIlroy, who shot 70-71 to miss the cut by a stroke. "It was handled efficiently, and everything was OK. I had no idea who it was."

"Me and Rory didn't say anything," said Rahm, who was paired with McIlroy for the second round. "He was holding a 6-iron and I didn't want to get hurt. "It didn't put anyone off. If anything, it put a smile on our faces. It will be a pretty good story to tell in the future."

Open-and-shut case: Matsuyama, Watson WD from British

Reigning Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama and two-time major winner Bubba Watson announced Sunday their withdrawals from next week’s Open Championship at Royal St. George’s due to COVID-19 protocols.

Matsuyama, who tested positive for the virus prior to the second round of the Rocket Mortgage Classic on July 2 and has been in quarantine since, has continued to show positive results on PCR tests although he is currently symptom free, according to the R&A. Watson was identified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19 and as such is considered a risk, according to U.K. government protocols.

“While I am vaccinated and have passed the required pre-travel COVID test, not enough time has passed for me to comfortably join the charter flight and risk exposure to the other players and personnel on board,” Watson said in a social media post Sunday.

In a statement via the R&A, Matsuyama said, “I’m feeling fine but haven’t been able to practice in preparation for The Open. Combining that with the difficult travel to the UK, my team and I have decided it’s best to withdraw to ensure everyone’s safety.”

Former champion David Duval also withdrew on Sunday, with three Americans -- Harold Varner III, Brendan Steele and John Catlin -- taking the available spots in the field.

Next up: The 149th Open Championship

The claret jug is on the line this week at Royal St. George’s as the Tour moves to England for the 149th Open Championship. Jon Rahm will aim to become just the seventh golfer ever to win the U.S. Open and Open Championship in the same year, while world No. 13 Louis Oosthuizen hopes to avoid becoming the first golfer since 2000 to finish runner-up in three straight majors. … Irishman Shane Lowry will look to defend his 2019 title, which he won by six shots over Tommy Fleetwood at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland. … Royal St. George’s, the first golf course in England to host the Open in 1894, will host the event for the 15th time and first since 2011 when Darren Clarke won at age 42, besting Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson by three shots.

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