Lucas Glover shoots 64, leads Jordan Spieth one-shot in PGA Tour playoff opening
MEMPHIS, Tennessee: Wet mud one day, scorching hot the next. Lucas Glover is playing his best golf whatever the conditions on the ground or in the air, and on Friday the FedEx St. Jude Championship, he had a one-shot advantage over Jordan Spieth with a score of 6-64.
Glover landed three hits over 25 feet, one for the eagle at par-5 16, and only made a 36-hole bogey as he entered the weekend of the PGA Tour’s postseason opening at TPC Southwind.
It was the 19th shot in the last 20 rounds that Glover took in the ’60s. A week ago, he was 112th in the FedEx Cup and seemed to be on a month off. Now it’s getting closer to making it to the Tour Championship.
“I’m old enough to know that it can change the other way in a hurry,” said Glover, 43. “So ride the wave and don’t think too much. Go ahead and play until it’s done and then figure it out.
Glover was in the 10 under 130.
Spieth was hooked on his tricks, landing a bunker shot for the birdie on the seventh hole after back-to-back bogeys, as part of a late surge that gave him a 68.
The biggest issue for all was the hot sun and Southern humidity, a combination where the heat index was just under 120 degrees Fahrenheit (48 Celsius).
Harris English co-actor Eric Larson had to stop after 10 holes. He bent down to tie his shoes in the second hole and had trouble getting up. The English ordered it checked out. Larson said his heart rate was high and blood pressure was low (50 vs 90).
He had intravenous fluids and felt better at the end of the day. English caught up with Andrew Argotsinger, head pro of the nearby Windyke Country Club, to fill it out. Larson gave him $100 for his effort when the round was over.
For everyone else, it was a matter of drenched shirts, drenched pants, and lots of birds coming from the turf on a course that had been drenched by storms for the past few days.
Towels were used to wipe arms, necks, and eyebrows as well as cleaning sticks.
“I didn’t get this wet in the shower this morning,” Glover said.
Although Spieth admitted that he played most of his golf before noon, he thought the heat from Dallas in recent weeks wouldn’t be an issue. He bragged to his Caddy that the Memphis heat was nothing to worry about.
“And then today I said, ‘Man, I was wrong. “I am humble,” Spieth said. “It’s just a different warmth. But it was like he was just getting off the ground. I’ll bring two shirts from now on and change them on the way back because I was having a bit of a hard time at the beginning of the lap.
The golf portion was good, but Spieth said the heat contributed to a few poor club choices, which led to the bogey. Where he wants to go to the weekend with many of his friends.
Tommy Fleetwood (66) and Sungjae Im (65) were among the five players in 8-under 132. Scottie Scheffler and Rory McIlroy were 66 each and were three shots behind the group.
Cam Davis makes the biggest move as the top 50 of the 70-man field advance into week two of the playoffs in the BMW Championship. It’s three birds late to 67, which will now put him in the top 50.
Glover started at number 49 and could have climbed up to number 3 with a win. That’s a long way off, especially considering that 16 players are within four-shots of the lead.
But it’s a surprising comeback, especially with a long shooter that he copied from Adam Scott. Glover is beginning to believe this saved his career. The Rocket Mortgage Classic has only failed to break par once it has appeared – it was equal to 71 when it missed the discount at the 3M Open in Minnesota.
He finished sixth in the three tournaments preceding Minnesota and won the Wyndham Championship last week.
“There were times when I absolutely didn’t want to play,” he said. “But there were times when I played badly and in the last three or four holes something clicked, and the next week I went out and played well. And that taught me a pretty quick lesson. Every shot, every opportunity, if something goes wrong, the situation goes up pretty quickly. You can reverse it.”
Par-4 pierced a 30-foot bird on the 13th, then sprinted with an eagle kick from about 35 feet on the 16th hole. He had three birds in a four-hole field on the front nine.
Spieth balanced the four bogeys with his share of the birds, none more special than bunker shooting. It was his second straight day out of the field. On the 16th, the eagle entered the place on Thursday.
“I thought as long as I carried the roughness and lowered it onto the eaves or just green space, it would be somewhere in the 5-6 feet range,” Spieth said. “And then as I followed it up, it was right on the line. I did what I could and I relied on a bit of luck there for it to really drop.
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