Lucas Glover played solidly at the same time he was witnessing Rory McIlroy's 63. (Getty Images)
Glover gets his best British Open start ever
Lucas Glover described his opening 67 as not great and not terrible, but it was still his lowest first-round score in the game's oldest major. He also had a front-row seat to Rory McIlroy's heroics.
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM Chief of Correspondents
ST. ANDREWS, Scotland -- He went for the green on both par 5s and ended up with pars. Ditto for the ninth and 12th holes, at 352 and 348 yards, respectively, two of the easiest par 4s at the old Course.
Lucas Glover’s round of 67 was his best ever in the British Open, though, and it left him well in the hunt -- just four strokes behind his playing partner, Rory McIlroy. In fact, he had never broken 70 in 12 previous rounds at golf’s oldest major.
"Five under the first round at a major, I’ll take it," said Glover, who won the 2009 U.S. Open. "… It was solid. I mean, it wasn’t great, wasn’t terrible, but I’ll take it."
Glover said he was well aware of how well McIlroy, who played his final 10 holes in 8 under, was doing. But he tried to focus on his own game.
"You can’t get caught up watching him," Glover said. "It was a heck of a round obviously, but he beat me by four, so that’s how it felt. … He drove it great, ironed it great, knocked in a bunch of putts and shot 63, just was a great round."
Glover knew that McIlroy needed birdies on his last two holes to set the major championship record but he certainly wasn’t going to mention it. The 21-year-old from Northern Ireland ended up missing a birdie putt at the 17th hole but made the one at No. 18 and tied the mark shot by 21 others.
"I’d never go up to him on 17 and say, hey, knock that in and birdie 18," Glover said. "You’d never do that. But I knew in the back of my mind if he made it on 17, that 18 was a birdie hole, and I was pulling for him.
"63 at St. Andrews, he’s capable of just about anything."