The Punter

The Punter's De-Brief: Sedgefield success for straight-hitting Lucas

Golfer Lucas Glover
Lucas Glover with the Wyndham Championship trophy

Lucas Glover has won his fifth PGA Tour title so Steve Rawlings here to look back at the American's late triumph at the Wyndham Championship...

Pre-event 90.089/1 chance Lucas Glover was matched at a high of 120.0119/1 when the market opened. He began the fourth and final round of the Wyndham Championship tied at the top with 75.074/1 chance, Billy Horschel, who had been matched at a low of 1.981/1 on Saturday. After the pair had bogeyed the opening hole, however, we had a three-way tie at the top.

The well -backed 23.022/1 chance Russell Henley, who had started the round trailing by a stroke, made up the trio. As the fourth round progressed, it developed into a two-man tussle.

Horschel didn't play terribly but he couldn't get going and Byeong Hun An bogeyed the sixth just after back-to-back birdies had put him into the argument. It was left to Glover and Henley to fight out the finish.

Both men traded at odds-on as they made multiple birdies around the turn and after An had bogeyed the par three 12th, Glover and Henley were four clear of the rest.

An made back-to-back birdies at 13 and 14 to get back to within two of the lead and when the hooter went for a suspension in play due to the threat of thunder, Henley was trading at odds-on.

Henley and An were in the fairway on the par five 15th and Glover was on the tee when play was suspended. After play resumed, Henley's price dropped from around 1.855/6 to a low of 1.528/15 when he nailed his approach to 14 feet. But that was as good as it got for the 34-year-old Georgian who made a two-putt birdie at the 15th.

The market flip-flopped when Henley hit a poor tee-shot at the par three 16th, where he got an unlucky break and that sparked a run of three consecutive bogeys that handed the title to Glover.

It was a bitterly disappointing finish by Henley who had traded at long odds-on two years ago before failing late on in round four.

Whether the weather delay had anything to do with his demise is debatable, but it was ultimately his inability to find fairways from the tee that cost him over the weekend.

Straight Driving the key at Sedgefield

Much has been made of Glover's improvement on the greens since he switched to a long putter, and rightly so, it's quite a transformation, but it was his arrow straight driving that won him the Wyndham title.

The gnarly Bermuda rough was slightly longer than usual this year and a missed fairway usually spelt trouble.

Glover's ability to find the fairways repeatedly was all that separated the front two over the weekend.

Sawgrass and Waialae form holds up again

Form at the Players Championship usually comes to the fore at Sedgefield, and it did so again this year.

Glover finished third at Sawgrass back in 2010 and Canada's Adam Svensson, who eventually finished tied for seventh despite a disappointing third round, had led this year's edition of the Players at the halfway stage. It was again noticeable how well Sony Open form held up at Sedgefield.

Glover was fifth at the Sony last year, when Henley was beaten in a playoff and the 2021 Wydham winner, Kevin Kisner, finished third, and this year's Sony Open was won by Si Woo Kim, who won the Wyndham by five strokes in 2016.

Agony for Thomas at the 72nd hole

Having begun the week languishing in 112th place in the FedEx Cup standings, Glover's victory has seen him move all the way up to 49th in the standings so he's comfortably made it to Memphis for this week's FedEx St Jude Championship, which I've previewed here. But after an enthralling fourth round, Justin Thomas has just missed out.

Beginning the week in 79th place, Thomas needed to birdie the 72nd hole last week. This is how close he came after a poor tee-shot had put him behind the eight ball.

Thomas' tied 12th at Sedgefield saw him move up eight places to 71st in the standings but with the top-70 only lining up at TPC Southwind, Ben Griffin is the last man in, and unlucky Thomas misses out.

*You can follow me on Twitter @SteveThePunter


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