Larry Penley on Lucas Glover’s Victory in United States Open

June 22, 2009

“I had camp all day, but we took an extended lunch break so we could see the last seven holes. We had about 40 campers so it was a memorable day for them.

“Ben Martin was with us. As you know he had played in the US Open as well and had his yardage book with him. So we were looking at it on 18 to see what iron he should use. We concluded he should hit a five iron to leave him about 140 yards and that is what he did.”

“I was a nervous wreck while watching it today. I got nervous when Tiger Woods got to one-under-par. If he had gotten to three-under it would have been a problem. I was also a little worried when David Duval got to three under.

“But, when Lucas made the birdie on 16, I really was confident he was going to win because he had been so consistent hitting greens all week. The 17th and 18th weren’t playing that hard. He also had the pace of the greens down. He only three-putted once in the tournament.

“Lucas really had a stress -free tournament because he hit his approach putts to within a couple of feet the entire tournament. He just never had a lot of nervous five to six footers.

“He was in a rhythm with his driver the entire week and that was a big advantage. When they had a course that was wet and it forced guys to hit driver, it was to his advantage because he is the number-one all around driver on the PGA Tour. He hit 13-14 fairways on Saturday.

“The smartest play he made was on the 18th hole when he hit the five iron. All he needed was a 140-yard shot. The guys who hit within 60 yards of the green couldn’t do anything with it.

“I really thought he could win this tournament when I saw him overcome the bad stretch he had on Saturday. He was four-over for a three-hole period, then settled down and played the last 10 holes at three-under. He didn’t fade and that was the key.

“This was a great win for our golf program. The next step for our guys on tour was to win a Major. Jonathan Byrd has won three times and D.J Trahan has won twice. Lucas had one win going into this event. D.J. Trahan got it going in the right direction last year when he finished fourth. Now Lucas has taken the next step.

“This will change his life in some regards from the standpoint of travel and the degree to which people recognize him. But, it wont’ change his personality. He is still going to be the laid back Lucas Glover….except when it comes to Clemson football.

“I can’t tell you how proud I am of the other three Clemson golfers at the US Open this week. D.J. didn’t make the cut, but as I said, his fourth place finish last year brought it to another level. Kyle Stanley made the cut and it was a great learning experience for him. I talked with him each night.

“I am especially proud of Ben Martin. To lead he US Open the first day for over an hour was great to see. It should give him great confidence as he leads our team next year.”