Imagine Golf Blogs

The Back 9

All you need to know about the past week in golf

Posted Jun 24, 2009 by Iestyn George

Lucas Glover

Last week I wrote that we were looking forward to the unexpected (see here) and we certainly got that at the 2009 US Open. Lucas Glover strode almost apologetically around Bethpage Black on his way to his first Major title, a shot a clear from Phil Mickelson, David Duval and Ricky Barnes. I also mentioned that we wanted drama, tension and great golf. We saw the latter - in patches - but thanks largely to the terrible weather this was the dullest Major in donkeys' years.

Readers will already be familiar with my lack of all-round golf knowledge. I could spend every waking hour on trying to memorise Dustin Johnson's greens in reg stats, but then again, why bother? I'm not the only one stumbling around in the dark for interesting things to say about Lucas Glover, though. His best finish in a Major prior to the 2009 US Open was tied 20th at The Masters in 2007 and he likes to go to musicals with his wife Jennifer. He also said "I hope I don't downgrade it or anything with my name on there" here on receiving the US Open trophy.

If you knew what was good for you, you'd gnore the inane ramblings above and check out what Golf Digest legend Dan Jenkins's assessment of Lucas Glover on Twitter (@danjenkinsgd). Here's a clue: it's a lot more insightful and kind, as befits a master of his profession.

In the immediate aftermath of events at Bethpage, the primary emotion round my house was of stomach-churning frustration. How many Majors would Phil Mickelson have won now if he'd just holed a few more short putts? Eight? Nine? More...?! Clearly he has an incredible desire and drive, otherwise he wouldn't have left his sick wife's side for the week, even with her blessing. But what a missed opportunity...

While there are certainly more charismatic sportsmen on the planet than the man ranked 882nd in the world before the 2009 US Open, it was nice to see David Duval back near the top of the leaderboard. Don't know if anyone else noticed the volumnosity of the man's trousers, though. MC Hammer has nothing on those babies...

There's not many sights in golf more irritating than seeing a player wear a smile of philosophical relief when he knows he's blown the chance to win his first tournament, let alone a Major. Each time Ricky Barnes pulled that face en route to his final round 76, I punched myself in the face, which made it harder to like only the fourth player ever to reach double digits over par in US Open history. Ricky blew it big-time in tying for second place at Bethpage in 2009, but he wore a nice Oakley hat - funny how Ian Poulter's on the front page of their website, though...

How many British sub-editors had that headline in mind on Tuesday? There isn't a more amicable chap on tour than Ross Fisher, but when he and a bunch of Challenge Tour-playing mates shared an apartment prior to the final round of European Tour school four years ago, he was by no means the standout character. Three seasons he told me he was considering part-exchanging his Vauxhall for something a bit more upmarket. The $289,000 dollars he won for coming fifth at the 2009 US Open should help with the repayments... See his hopelessly out of date tour diary here.

No self-respecting golf column is worth the name if it doesn't include a mention of Tiger Woods. He is now halfway towards achieving the Grand Slam Eve in 2009, winning at Bay Hill before The Masters and The Memorial before the US Open (see here). Look out Loch Lomond... 

One of last week's predictions for the 2009 US Open came predictably true, of course. The players complained - not about the state of the course, but the fact they didn't have the opportunity to clean the mud off the golf ball between shots. Ian Poulter even took a picture of one to Tweet after his round, the cheeky so-and-so.

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