12 July 2021: Belief is a virtue. And Lucas Glover made the most of it with a sensational victory in the John Deere Classic. On Sunday, the 41-year-old endured wet weather to produce the goods needed to sail to a first victory in more than a decade of struggles. Glover shot 64 to secure the win, laced with five birdies between the 12th and 17th holes for an imposing finish in the 50th edition of the John Deere Classic.
It was his fourth top ten finish this year, and victory secured a spot in the 149th Open Championship this week.
“I think any time you win it’s gratifying,” said Glover, on the hunt since a win in the 2011 Wells Fargo Championship. “I’ve always been a big believer in there’s nothing guaranteed in this game. It can be easy one day and be really, really, really hard the next.
“Yeah, it’s been a difficult 10 years, but I never lost my faith, never lost my drive, never lost the self-belief,” added the 2009 US Open champion.
“Every morning and every night you’ve got to answer to yourself, no matter what,” Glover said with a philosophical perspective borne of hard-earned experience gained through 17 years on TOUR. “No matter what anybody else says good or bad, it’s still you, yourself, your inner peace and what you’re telling yourself, what you believe every day.”
“They went in and I kept the pedal down,” Glover said of his flurry of birdies at the end. “There’s a lot of birdies out there, a lot of great players coming in.”
A bogey on the 15th proved to be the undoing of Kevin Na, who worked his way into contention with three birdies in four holes. Eventually, both Na and Moore made a 68, not enough to threaten Glover.
Sebastian Munoz started the day with a one-stroke lead. Unfortunately, he put himself in a difficult position at the very first hole, and never quite recovered from the bogey start. He settled for fourth place, with a final round 71, at 16-under 268. Adam Schenk (67), Luke List (68) and Scott Brown (69) were also tied in fourth.
Glover was trailing by one from Schenk with five holes to play, but a bogey on the 14th by the latter helped him gain the lead with a birdie. He did not look back from there. Victory helps him access the Masters, the PGA Championship and also a trip to Maui for the Sentry Tournament of Champions, in January 2022.
“It’s been a long 10 years. There’s been some struggles,” Glover said. “I knew it was in there. I had to clean up my brain a little bit and just hit some shots, just play golf. I never lost sight of believing I could do this and win again. It’s always nice to prove yourself right.”
Glover remained on the PGA TOUR, despite having to forage through the Korn Ferry Tour on two occasions. “I went to the Korn Ferry Finals twice, one after an injury and one after playing so bad, and luckily was able to get my (PGA TOUR) card back both times,” he said. “You know, it was bad, but in the grand scheme of things, I still was a pro golfer and still had a chance to get my job back. You know, that was pretty low, but as far as how I kept going, it’s just self-belief and the ability to work hard, trust what you’re working on and believe in yourself, and I’ve always done that.”
The American denied that the US Open was hanging heavy on his fortunes. “No, no albatross,” he said. “That’s one of those things they can’t ever take from me. It was always nice to reflect back on that and say I did it at the highest level, executed at the highest level. It’s still in there. It doesn’t go anywhere. You’ve just got to find it.
“Like I’ve said numerous times today, I never once lost faith, never once quit believing in myself. 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. It was just, I know it’s in there. I’ve just got to find it.”