Sunday with LucasI am glad to be back at Augusta National on Sunday after a “day off” to cover Clemson’s Spring Football Game.
It was another day walking around the magnificent grounds at Augusta National following one of my all-time favorite Clemson golfers, Lucas Glover, a Clemson Tiger from 1997-2001.
For Lucas it was pretty much the same round of golf he has had all week at the Masters. It was a solid round of ball striking with problems putting here and there that kept him from shooting under par. He made some putts, a 12-footer for birdie on three, a seven footer for birdie on nine, a nine footer for birdie on 14, but missed some short ones also, including holes 16 and 17.
He was robbed on the par four seventh hole when a putt for par lipped out and had so much momentum it went seven feet by the hole. That turned into a three-putt, the third time this week he had a lip out that led to a three-putt.
Glover had a final round 73 with four bogeys, a double bogey and five birdies to finish with a 72-hole score of 294, good enough for 49th place. It was the third time he has made the cut at the Masters in six appearances. He has now finished 20th, 36th and 49th in those appearances. He is the only former Clemson golfer to make the cut three times at the Masters.
Glover had a good run from holes nine through 14 on Sunday. He made birdie on nine after a monster drive to the bottom of the hill and a wedge to seven feet. He made that putt. After a bogey on 10, he made pars on the tough 11th and 12th holes, then birdied the 13th hole when he two putted from 10 feet. He had a great chance for his first career eagle at Augusta National, but he just missed the eagle putt.
Glover then made a terrific birdie on 14. His drive struck a tree down the left side and he was left with 210 yards to the green, one of the most difficult at Augusta National. His low lining shot from the rough rolled to within nine feet and he made the putt for birdie, the second time this week he made a birdie from the rough, the first time he has made birdie after striking a tree.
Glover bogeyed 16 and 17 when he missed short putts. He then finished in grand style when he hit a second shot to 18 within a foot-and-a-half and made the putt for a birdie, his first of the tournament on any of the last three holes.
“You can just take the same quotes you wrote yesterday and rewrite it today,” said Glover to the media after the round. “It was the same story….I hit the ball great, hit the ball well enough to shoot a couple under par, but I just didn’t putt well. I hit it great all week. I certainly know what I need to work on Tuesday and Wednesday at Hilton Head (the next stop on the PGA Tour.).”
Overall it was a good Masters experience for Glover. “I got two bonus days (made cut thanks to 10-shot rule) here and that was great. You always learn a lot when you come here and I am thankful for that. You have to putt well here to win, it is more than just playing well tee to green.”
SEC vs. ACCGlover was paired with former LSU All-American David Toms in a rematch of the Chick-fil-Bowl in terms of school representation. But, LSU won this match on Sunday as Toms had one of the most impressive rounds of the tournament with a five under par 67 on Sunday.
“We didn’t talk about the football game” said Glover.”We already had played together at Bay Hill and in a practice round earlier this week. I don’t get into talking (trash) when it comes to Clemson football. Once you do it will come back to haunt you.”
Glover is a die hard Clemson sports fan, especially when it comes to football. He ran down the Hill with Dabo Swinney and the Tigers at the 2009 Florida State game, the November after Glover won the US Open.
The SEC and the ACC are two of the strongest conferences when it comes to producing professional golfers. Each conference had nine representatives this week, the most among conferences.
Glover has been a part of a fund raiser tournament that features PGA Tour players from ACC and SEC schools in Nashville each year. Glover and former Vanderbilt All-American Brandt Snedeker were team captains last year for the ACC vs. SEC tournament in October.
Masters ACC TournamentLucas Glover finished fifth in the ACC Tournament within the Masters with his score of 294, six over par. There were nine former ACC players in the field, tied for the most among conferences with the SEC. Six of the nine ACC players made the cut.
Matt Kuchar of Georgia Tech tied for eighth at three under par and Tim Clark of NC State tied for 11th at two under par. Bill Haas finished at one over par for the tournament, 20th place. Stewart Cink of Georgia Tech fame was at two over, 25th and Glover was at six over, 49th. Carl Pettersson of NC State was at 16 over par.
Inside the Stats
Glover Wins Battle of Dabo FriendsGlover and former Masters Champion Trevor Immelman have become friends, really through Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney. As I wrote on Friday, Swinney and Immelman have both vacationed in the same area in Florida. Immelman is a part of Dabo’s All-In Foundation and he has been at a couple of Clemson football games in recent years.
In the personal battle between the two this week, Immelman had a big lead after a 68 in the first round. But, Glover came back with consistent play and beat Immelman by a shot for the 72 holes. Both made birdie on their respective 72nd holes.
Who Followed LucasOne of the many Clemson fans who followed Glover on Sunday was former Clemson quarterback Brandon Streeter. Streeter was a senior quarterback for the Tigers in the fall of 1999, Tommy Bowden’s first year. As I stated on Friday, Glover was always friends with many of the Clemson football players when he was in school and Streeter’s senior year was Glover’s junior year. Glover made a point to see Streeter after the round just outside the press area.
No surprise to anyone, Streeter is on the way to a successful coaching career. His father was the longtime coach at Gettysburg. Brandon is now an assistant coach at Richmond after stops at Charleston Southern, Clemson and Liberty.
Streeter is the man the Clemson Athletic departments Streeter Award is named after. It is given each year to the Clemson student-athlete, regardless of sport, who overcomes challenges from injuries to return to the field.
Former Clemson coach Brad Scott, now in athletic administration for Dabo Swinney, and Clemson receivers coach Jeff Scott, Brad’s son, was also in the gallery on Sunday.
Another Interesting RulingThe strangest visual from the fourth round was a picture taken by Tim Dominick of the State Newspaper. Fourteen-year old amateur Tianlang Guan hit his drive on the 17th hole on Sunday into the clear Masters souvenir bag of a spectator ON THE FLY to the right of the 17th fairway. The spectator happened to have the bag open when Guan’s tee shot on the par four hole came into the area.
Dominick was taking pictures of the Guan group at the time and got the picture. I am Sure it will be in Monday’s State Newspaper. Not sure what the ruling was, but willing to bet it involved a free drop near the bag, which contained a golf shirt and other items. Guan took a bogey five on the hole.
Remembering Chris Patton’s MastersSeeing all the attention for 2013 low amateur Tianlang Guan this week reminds me of the special week Chris Patton had at the 1990 Masters. Guan, a native of China is just 14, the youngest player in the history of the Masters and obviously the youngest to make the cut. He finished at 300 for the four rounds and impressively never made a score more than bogey on any hole.
But, Patton, the 1989 US Amateur Champion and Clemson Tiger from 1987-90, does not take a backseat to Guan. In fact, I was here for the tournament that year and the media requests I received were amazing. I didn’t have a press pass, but got a ticket on Friday and carried with me a folder with Patton’s bio on it. I brought 50 with me and ran out by the end of the round. He was the darling of the Masters after making the cut with rounds of 71-73.
Patton, a native of Fountain Inn and three-time Clemson All-American, finished the tournament in 39th place with a 296 score and was the low amateur that year. Two of the players Patton beat in 1990 were future Masters champion Mark O’Meara and future World #1 Greg Norman.
Since 1990, 23 total tournaments, only seven amateurs have finished better than Patton’s 39th place finish that year. Some of the amateurs who did not finish better than Patton’s 39th place standing in that time period were Phil Mickelson, 46th in 1991 and Tigers Woods, 41st in 1995 and missed the cut in 1996.
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