In his first appearance in the PGA Grand Slam of Golf, Lucas Glover won going away. (Lyons/Getty Images)
After early challenge, Glover cruises to comfortable victory
Lucas Glover capped an impressive two days in Bermuda with a 5-under 66 Wednesday as he cruised to a five-shot win over Angel Cabrera in the 27th PGA Grand Slam of Golf.
By Josh Ball, PGA.com Contributor
SOUTHAMPTON, Bermuda -- New irons, a new attitude and a healthy dose of enjoyment all combined to give Lucas Glover a comfortable win at the 27th PGA Grand Slam of Golf on Wednesday.
The U.S. Open winner broke out a new set of Nike irons for the 36-hole tournament for the year’s major champions, and doesn’t seem to have suffered too much.
He fired a second-round 66 Wednesday to go along with his first-round 65 to finish on 11 under par, five shots clear of second-placed Angel Cabrera.
“I always play my best golf when I'm relaxed, and it's taken me a while to realize that,” said Glover. “But you know, to add to that about having a fun week instead of grinding so hard, I brought out new irons this week with the new grooves just to try and see how they work, because I wanted a couple of rounds under my belt with this new model. So Nike made a good set and I think I like them.
“I use the Nike VRs, and I knew I would have two events to work with them,” he explained. “I didn't give up the wedges -- that would be a little too much because that would be giving up too much of an advantage -- but I just wanted to see how they reacted and I knew it would be breezy.
“I wanted to see how they reacted with my golf ball and in breezy conditions.”
Judging from Glover’s scorecard, they seem to have worked perfectly and, unlike the previous two years in which the Grand Slam went to a playoff, Glover’s victory was something of a procession once he broke away from the rest of the field at the turn.
The American rattled off three consecutive birdies at Nos. 9, 10 and 11 to turn his 8-under-par tie with Stewart Cink into a two-shot lead.
And when he drained another long putt at No. 12 to rescue his par, it seemed almost inevitable that Glover would be the one wearing the Pink Jacket at the end of the day.
Not that the day started out that way, as Cink began with two birdies to tie Glover for the lead at 6 under.
Glover then dropped a shot at No. 4 when his second shot found the greenside bunker, and Cink birdied No. 5 to take the outright lead. They traded blows until the ninth, when Glover again birdied, and the pair went into the turn tied at 8 under.
“Everybody else was off to a pretty quick start, and Stewart got off like wildfire, and Y.E. and Angel the same, and I was just kind of there,” said Glover. “I got it turned around there towards the end of the front nine and played pretty good golf from there.”
Further birdies at Nos. 15 and 17 took Glover to 12 under, while Cink’s challenge had already faded after his tee shot at No. 15 went into thick rough, and he ended that hole with a double bogey.
An eagle at No. 17 sent Cink and Cabrera, who also shot a second-round 66, down the last tied for second. But Cink’s woes on the back nine continued as he bogeyed 18, while Cabrera’s par putt earned him an extra $50,000 for outright second place.
“I had it going really well, and then I just, I don't know, the wheels kind of fell off out there,” said Cink. “And then the bogey I made on 12 really I just felt like the momentum just sort of dissipated completely.
“Then I bogeyed the next hole, and then I had a lost ball, so it all went south quickly there on the back nine.”
Cabrera came close to mounting a challenge of his own, and like Glover shot a second-round 66. But he missed birdie putt from 13 feet at No. 12 left him on 5 under as Glover rescued a par.
“I made what I made and I missed what I missed, and I think that the 12th hole was a key there,” he said. “I went on to lose it, on the 12th hole when Lucas had made a very important long putt for par, and I missed a short one for birdie there. But I hit some good shots and it was a great round for me today.”
Y.E. Yang ended the day little better than he started it, finishing 1 under for the tournament, but for a while looked like he might push Cink and Cabrera close for second.
The Korean’s eagle at the shortened par-4 fifth took him to 4 under in four holes, but he struggled on the back nine and his challenge faded.
“It was a tough round again, I’m very tired, and I just can't get over jet lag right now,” said Yang. “And especially around 12 p.m., around bedtime for me, I think that was around the sixth or seventh hole, I didn't really get a break when I needed one. So that sort of just discouraged me a bit more.
“But overall it was a wonderful experience,” he added. “The people here, the tournament, Bermuda itself is wonderful. So I hope that one day I can come back again.”