Lucas Glover has not made it easy on himself.
After nearly monitoring his progress on what was a hot Sunday afternoon in Memphis, Glover ended his day perfectly. Glover expertly challenged the first playoff hole to defeat Patrick Cantlay and win the FedEx St. Jude Championship.
The win was the sixth of Glover’s career, and his second in as many weeks. It also catapulted him to fourth place in the FedExCup rankings.
“You work hard no matter what, whether you’re fighting something or playing cool, you just work hard because you never know when it might turn around,” Glover said on CBS. “It turned around very quickly for me, and fortunately I’m in a good frame of mind to take advantage of that.”
Glover, who was drenched in sweat and even dipped his hands in the cooler in the final tee box to try to keep them cool, took no chance on the first playoff hole – though he didn’t need to. Cantlay, who posted a 6-under 64 in his final over, hit his shot in the water along the left side of the fairway. Glover’s drive was perfect at halfway, and his approach shot landed about 22 feet from the pin.
While Cantlay’s approach was nearly identical, it didn’t matter. Glover’s putt landed less than a foot from the cup, and it was equally easy to exploit. Cantlay’s shot was just off target, sealing the win for Glover.
Glover is now the first golfer over 40 to win a FedExCup Playoff event since Tiger Woods did so in 2008. Glover, 43, now has more wins in his 40s than he did in his 20s. This season is also the first with multiple wins.
Glover made the FedExCup qualifiers thanks to his win at the Windham Championships last week. He was No. 112 in the rankings entering that week at North Carolina, and the win moved him up to No. 49—which was a top 70 qualifier for that week’s event in Memphis.
Glover held a one-shot lead over Jordan Spieth after Friday’s round, then scored a 4-under 66 on Saturday to maintain the single lead. He entered Sunday’s round having made only two bogeys through 54 holes, and his 66 was the sixth round in his last seven in which he shot 66 or better.
Even with that 66, Glover wasn’t happy with himself.
“It was bad, that’s what I would describe that day,” Glover said Saturday. You can remove parts of it “S.” I got a lot of what I had. The short game saved me a lot early on, and I missed a couple of putts I thought I should have made.
“But three months ago, if you were angry at 66 or if you told me I would be angry at 66, I would say you’re crazy.”
Glover’s consistency continued on Saturday, though it took a lot of work on his part to keep it going. He birdied once through the first 10 holes of the day, and managed to save par on the other nine holes despite missing six greens in regulation. He was scrambling again, but it was working.
Glover didn’t make his first real mistake until the 14th. After making another big save on the previous hole, Glover’s tee plunged into the water to the right of the green. However, Glover once again played down the damage. He plunged 30 feet to save his bogey, which was his first appearance on the back nine all week.
However, that bogey ended up dropping Glover to second place. Cantlay made back-to-back bogeys on the 15th and 16th ahead of Glover to take the solo lead for the first time.
Glover, having missed a birdie on the 15th, capitalized on a birdie on the par-5 16th to regain a share of the lead. He rallied again to save par on the 17th after his drive landed under a tree in a rough patch, sending him to the final hole tied with Cantlay. Although he reached the green in regulation, Glover’s Birdie Putt was just a foot short – sending him to the playoff with Cantlay.
Rory McIlroy and Tommy Fleetwood finished third on 14-under, and Taylor Moore finished fifth on 12-under for the week.
The top 50 in the FedExCup standings will now advance to next week’s BMW Championship, which marks the second of three events this postseason. The Top 30 after the next Sunday then move on to the Tour Championship.
This post will be updated with more information soon.