May 8, 2011
CLEMSON, SC – Former Clemson All-American Lucas Glover won the Wells Fargo Invitational on Sunday afternoon in a one-hole playoff over former Clemson teammate and All-American Jonathan Byrd. The Tournament was played at the par 72 Quail Hollow Country Club in Charlotte.
It was the first PGA Tour victory for Glover since he won the US Open at Bethpage Back in 2009, and it was his third PGA Tour victory overall. Byrd had won five times on the PGA Tour, including twice within the last seven months in playoffs, the Justin Timberlake Invitational in Las Vegas last October and the Hyundai Invitational in Maui in January. This was the first career playoff for Glover.
Glover and Byrd played together three years at Clemson, 1998, 1999 and 2000 and they helped Clemson to three consecutive top 10 finishes in that time period, including a national runner-up finish in 1998. They have played over 100 rounds of golf together over the years.
The two Clemson graduates have both been inducted into the Clemson Athletic Hall of Fame. It marked the first time that two Clemson golfers finished in first and second place at the same PGA Tour event.
Glover won $1,152,000 with the victory, his second largest check as a professional golfer. He won $1,350,000 when he won the 2009 US Open.
Glover and Byrd both finished the 72 holes with identical scores of 273. Glover had rounds of 67-68-69-69 and became the first player in the tournament’s history at the new Quail Hollow golf club to have four straight rounds in the 60s. Byrd had rounds of 66-68-67-72 for his 273 total.
Byrd started the day at 15 under par, one shot ahead of Pat Perez and three shots ahead of Glover. Byrd actually had a four shot lead for a short time on Sunday after he made birdies on the seventh and eighth holes and got to 16 under par.
But Glover made a charge with birdies on the seventh and eighth holes and an eagle on the 10th hole. That hole proved to be big for Glover, who earlier in the week made a 63-foot putt for birdie on that hole.
Glover was at 15 under for the tournament after a birdie on the par five 15th hole. He than played the final three holes, known as the “Green Mile”, the most difficult finishing holes on the PGA Tour last year, in even par. He had to two-putt from 75 feet to make par on 17, then had to make a seven-footer for par on 18.
Meanwhile, Byrd, who was playing behind Glover, birdied the 15th hole to get to 14 under and made pars on 16 and 17. He still had to birdie the last hole to tie Glover and force a playoff. From 162 yards in the middle of the fairway, he hit his approach to 14 feet. He then drained the putt, just the third birdie of the day on the 18th hole, to force the playoff.
On the playoff hole (#18), Byrd hit his drive into a sand trap on the right side of the fairway, while Glover hit his drive in the middle of the fairway. Byrd’s second shot was hit left of the green, just outside a creek that runs alongside the green. Glover hit his second shot 25 feet past the pin, but on the green. With a difficult down hill lie and the creek in front of him, Byrd hit his third shot 20 feet past the pin. He then barely missed the putt and finished with a bogey five. Glover then two-putted to win the tournament.
A crowd filled with Clemson fans, yelled the “CLEM in Cadence” cheer as the two men hugged each other on the 18th green.
A record five former Clemson golfers made the cut. D.J. Trahan finished 33rd with a 283 score, Kyle Stanley finished 45th with a 284 score and Charles Warren finished 48th with a 285 score.
It was not the only professional tournament this weekend that a former Tigers had a top five finish. Former Clemson All-American Matt Hendrix finished third with a 275 score on the Nationwide Tour’s Stadion Classic at the University of Georgia.
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