Open Title Belongs to Glover After a Wire-to-Wire Finish at Blackpage

Rory BarnettContributor IJune 23, 2009

FARMINGDALE, NY - JUNE 22:  Lucas Glover speaks with the media after alongside the winner's trophy after his two-stroke victory at the 109th U.S. Open on the Black Course at Bethpage State Park on June 22, 2009 in Farmingdale, New York.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

Lucas Glover won the 109th U.S. Open on Monday by two strokes on a rained-soaked Blackpage Black course in Farmingdale, New York. Wait, you don't know who Lucas Glover is?

He's the 29-year-old from South Carolina, who chews tobacco and listens to Sinatra. His last PGA Tour victory was five years ago at Disney. Still doesn't ring a bell? Well, you're not alone.

But it doesn't matter. There have been many unknowns who have won major tournaments in the past. Todd Hamilton, who won the British Open in 2005 and Rich Beam's thrilling victory over Tiger Woods at the PGA Championship in 2002, just to name a few.

Glover's victory didn't come easy. He overcame a charging Phil Mickelson, who finished second at the Open for the fifth time in his career, an out of nowhere comeback from a former No. 1 player in the world, David Duval, and a former U.S. Amateur winner, Ricky Barnes. 

But Glover trusted his swing and was patient. Despite only making one birdie in the rain-delayed final round, he birdied the 16th and parred his last final holes for a two stroke victory.

As for the defending champion, Tiger Woods was never really a threat. He struggled with his putter all week long, in fact, he made a total of 120 putts for the tournament. He shot a one-under 69 and finished tied for sixth.

Woods, the always ultimate competitor, didn't go away quietly. He started a late charge when he drove the par-five 13th in two then tapped in one of two consecutive birdies. However, he slipped away when he missed a 12-footer for par on No. 15, then missed two straight make-able birdie putts.

The 15th hole yielded only 17 birdies in four rounds, which was the fewest on the course.

Mickelson, the New York crowd fan-favorite, started a comeback of his own. He rolled in a 35-footer for birdie on the 12th and followed up with an eagle on the par-5 13th that suddenly gave him a share of the lead.

But what happened next was almost parallel to what happened at Winged Foot in 2006.

He missed a three footer for par on the 15th, then another par putt from eight feet on the 17th. Mickelson closed with even-par 70 and finished tied for second with Duval and Barnes. Mickelson will more than likely miss the last two majors—British Open and PGA Championship—because his wife, Amy, will undergo treatment for breast cancer.

Duval made three consecutive birdies on the back nine and moved into a tie for first with Glover. Duval's dream of an Open title was crushed when he bogied on the 17th and finished in a tie for second with Barnes, who shot a six-over 76 after being the 54-hole leader.

Duval earned his first top 10 U.S. Open finish and qualified for his first Masters since 2006.