Strong opening rounds help several Ryder Cup hopefuls
Lucas Glover, Stewart Cink and J.J. Henry made strong bids for spots on the U.S. Ryder Cup team with impressive showings on Thursday. But Brett Wetterich did himself no favors with a 76 that included two quadruple-bogeys.
MEDINAH, Ill. (AP) -- Lucas Glover can't get it out of his mind.
He has been thinking about playing in the Ryder Cup "every day, every minute, every second for the last six months."
Glover, Stewart Cink and J.J. Henry made strong bids for spots on the U.S. team with impressive showings in the opening round of the PGA Championship on Thursday.
Glover's 6-under 66 put him atop the leader board after the morning groups finished. Cink and Henry were two strokes back at 68.
"I would think guys are crazy if they don't want to play on that team, but for me, it's been a dream forever," Glover said. "It's been my favorite sporting event to watch forever."
The top 10 players in a points system -- plus two captain's picks -- will have the chance to play for the United States next month in Ireland. Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson are among the five who have clinched spots, and British Open runner-up Chris DiMarco is a virtual lock to make it.
Henry came into the PGA Championship ranked eighth, with Cink 12th and Glover 14th.
The third-year pro got off to a good start, with birdies on the par-3 No. 2 and par-4 No. 3. He also birdied No. 5, and was at 2-under at the turn. He had five birdies on the back nine.
"I've made up my mind this week: I was going to try to be a kid again, try to have fun and laugh off the bad shots," Glover said. "That helped today because I hit some bad ones."
Cink started with a birdie on his first hole -- the par-5 10th -- and had five in all, with one bogey. Henry, starting from No. 10, was bogey-free and finished with four birdies -- three on his back nine.
Brett Wetterich, 10th in the standings at the start of the week, damaged his chances with a 4-over 76. He had quadruple-bogeys on Nos. 12 and 17.
Cink, who made the team in 2002 and 2004, said the Ryder Cup isn't on his mind this week.
"If I go up into the top 10, then I'm an automatic qualifier and that would be great," he said. "But from 12, I don't think you can drop far enough down where you're not really at least somewhat in the mix for a possible pick. So I'm just playing for the PGA Championship. I feel like I'm in a pretty good position as far as the Ryder Cup for it to be as far from my mind as possible."
Cink did say that Captain Tom Lehman told him he hopes Cink jumps into the top 10.
"I think I understand what he means by that," Cink said. "He doesn't want to be forced to make me a pick, because he's probably got somebody else in mind ahead of me, I guess."
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