Unheralded Glover Wins Golf's U.S. Open

Lucas Glover has won the U.S. Open, edging out Phil Mickelson, David Duval and Ricky Barnes. Larry Dorman, golf reporter for The New York Times, says Glover is a prototypical winner of the U.S. Open. He says it wasn't a surprise Glover won.

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ROBERT SIEGEL, host:

Rain extended the U.S. Open into an extra day of play today, and by the time it was all over, Lucas Glover - who had won just a single PGA Tour event four years ago - was the new U.S. Open champion. Needless to say, that means the other big news from Bethpage Black on Long Island was that Tiger Woods did not win the U.S. Open, nor did Phil Mickelson. Larry Dorman writes about golf for the New York Times. And Larry, who is Lucas Glover?

Mr. LARRY DORMAN (Golf Writer, New York Times): Lucas Glover is a sort of prototypical United States Open Golf Championship winner. He's a very good driver of the ball. He has a very fine, iron game. He's a good putter, and he hits shots that need to be hit down the stretch in the U.S. Open. So it wasn't a surprise that he won, but it probably wasn't the most popular win with the fans. But they did embrace him afterwards.

SIEGEL: This was a championship that was greatly affected by weather, and it mattered if you played an early round in the morning as opposed to the afternoon, if it was wet or dry. Was it so quirky that golf writers are going to imagine a little asterisk next to Lucas Glover's name?

Mr. DORMAN: Well, some of them might. I think it was difficult, and there was a distinct advantage to the golfers who had the late starting times, initially, on Thursday and did not get caught in the bulk of the rain. But everyone played the same golf course. And I think that by today, all of the objections to what had happened and the weather and everything else were sort of shelved. And it was an extremely exciting day, and Lucas Glover just happened to prevail because Phil Mickelson couldn't make some puts down the stretch and Tiger Woods was too far back.

SIEGEL: Yeah. Phil Mickelson was tied for second place, two strokes back. And Mickelson is developing a real affinity for second place at the U.S. Open.

Mr. DORMAN: Yes, he is. This is his fifth sort of one for the thumb, but it -not really one that Phil wanted. And I'm sure that he's disappointed. He really had hoped to win here, and he was determined. He really wanted to bring the trophy home to his wife, who is suffering from breast cancer.

SIEGEL: Now, tied with Mickelson for second was someone who's name we haven't seen on a leader board in a long time: David Duval.

Mr. DORMAN: Yes. And that was one of the most impressive things that happened. He's threatened to come back from the obscurity that he fell into after - one year after he won the British Open and one year after he had been the number one player in the world. He has not won since. That was 2001. But after he made triple bogey on the first hole that he played today, he mounted this remarkable comeback and played extraordinary golf from that point on.

SIEGEL: Now, Tiger Woods was just a couple strokes behind that. Last year, he won the U.S. Open, playing through incredible pain, such that he had to take a break from the PGA Tour for several months.

Mr. DORMAN: Yeah. Yeah.

SIEGEL: Is he well, first of all? Was there any problem in terms of Woods' health?

Mr. DORMAN: Everything is fine. And Tiger just couldn't make any putts. It was really as simple as that. He hit the ball as well as anybody in the field, but he just could not putt. And maybe that's something that is going to take a little while to get back where he was before, because he missed a number of very makeable putts coming down the stretch today. It would've been an incredible comeback for Tiger. But he just - he wasn't able to close it out.

SIEGEL: Well, Larry Dorman of the New York Times, thanks a lot for talking with us about the U.S. Open.

Mr. DORMAN: Thank you, Robert.

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