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Nobody, probably not even Lucas Glover himself, thought anyone would be writing a headline about him winning back-to-back PGA Tour events at the age of 43, but here we are. Glover not only beat an incredibly strong field at TPC Southwind, but he defeated the sun to win the FedEx St. Jude Championship as well.
For how great Glover was over the weekend in Memphis, Tommy Fleetwood put on a display of how not to win a golf tournament like only he can. This is, of course, nothing new for the Englishman.
One of the players Glover held off on Sunday was Jordan Spieth, who is very much trending in the right direction with two weeks left in the season. Him jumping into the mix with the Tour Championship less than 14 days away should make for great drama down the stretch.
Ryder Cup hype will hit a new level after this weekend’s BMW Championship as the U.S. team will be set in stone. I’ll make the case for who deserves the final spot on the team, and why his name isn’t Justin Thomas.
Lucas Glover And His Sweat-Filled Pants Win The FedEx St. Jude Championship
Before we get into Lucas Glover’s incredibly impressive Sunday, we have to talk about the heat in Memphis this week.
As someone who lives in Memphis and has spent the majority of their life living in the state of Tennessee, I’ve never experienced a weekend like we just had.
Friday was the hottest day I’ve experienced in my 30 years on Earth. With the humidity, the heat index was close to 120, and it felt like every bit of 150. It’s as if the city of Memphis moved to the actual equator over the weekend. The month of August is miserable in Memphis (go ahead, make your jokes about the other 11 months also being miserable) but the sun is inflicting more damage than usual in the 901 in 2023.
I don’t think I’ve stopped sweating in 72 hours, but I’m going to battle thru the elements and deliver this week’s Par Talk because that’s the kind of guy I am.
The only man who may have sweated more than myself this weekend was Glover, but he cashed in a $3.6 million check for his efforts, which made things just a bit more tolerable.
The story for Glover this week was the same as it was during his win at the Wyndham Championship seven days prior, and that was his red-hot putter. Glover has gone from having the yips on the greens not long ago to putting a broomstick LAB putter in the bag and is putting with extreme confidence.
While he knocked in a few lengthy par putts, the biggest putt of the day came on the Par 3 14th after finding the water with his tee shot. Things could have easily gone off the rails with a double bogey, but Glover confidently drained a 30-footer for one of those momentum-saving putts.
Glover went on to play his final four holes of the day 1-under which put him in a playoff with Patrick Cantlay, who shot a round-of-the-day 64 on Sunday, and showed serious stones in the first playoff hole striping a fairway wood in the middle of the 18th fairway just as he did in regulation.
Cantlay put his tee shot in the water on the playoff hole and still nearly made par, but Glover was able to secure PGA Tour win No. 6 with a four on the first playoff hole.
Beyond the physical battle with the sun Glover had to fight through all week, it shouldn’t be lost how great he was mentally all week long.
His win at Wyndham last week was his first win on Tour since July 2021. To come back the next week after snapping that winless streak and having the mental fortitude to hold off the likes of Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Tommy Fleetwood, and Cantlay is all-world stuff.
Tommy Fleetwood Truly Outdoes Himself In Memphis
Tommy Fleetwood coming up just short is nothing new with the Englishman now having 22 Top Five finishes in 124 career PGA Tour starts, but something about him not getting it done in Memphis felt different.
Statistically, that something different was his putting. Fleetwood finished second in the field in strokes gained: putting and first in putts per green-in-regulation. You add those numbers to him being the second-most-accurate driver in the 70-man field and you couldn’t have dreamt up a better scenario for Fleetwood to finally get the job done in the States.
If this statistic from Justin Ray doesn’t put into perspective Fleetwood’s PGA Tour career, I’m not sure anything can.
Fleetwood missed out on the playoff by a single shot, and despite his fantastic putting numbers, it was the flatstick that cost him the tournament.
Fleetwood missed a six-foot birdie putt on the Par 5 third hole and a four-foot birdie putt on the sixth hole. He makes both of those putts and we’re talking about him winning the tournament instead of Glover.
While I’m one of the naive people out there that still believe in Fleetwood despite having zero reason to, those two missed putts have to weigh on him mentally.
We’re well beyond the point where Fleetwood coming up just short is a legitimate trend, but Sunday’s defeat has to be right up there with the most ‘Fleetwood being Fleetwood’ moments of his career.
Jordan Spieth Has The Driver Working, Which Is A Warning To The Rest Of The World
We didn’t see a lot of ‘The Jordan Spieth Experience’ at the FedEx St. Jude Championship where he’s missing fairways by 40 yards and somehow still making birdies and pars. Instead, Spieth was dialed in off the tee as he ranked T-12 in driving accuracy for the week, and on a golf course where the driver is called for quite a bit.
To put his solid off-the-tee week into perspective, he moved to 127th on Tour in driving accuracy for the season, even with the T-12 performance in Memphis.
Spieth’s short game is always going to be there, but when he has confidence off the tee is when he’s incredibly dangerous. This week’s BMW Championship could be one of the stiffest non-major tests of the year, and a dialed-in Spieth should be chomping at the bit to letting it fly all week.
Spieth having a really good week at the BMW and jumping up in the FedEx Cup standings would make for a great Tour Championship next Sunday.
Lucas Glover Has A Ridiculously Strong Case For Making The Ryder Cup Team
While the Top Six in the U.S. Ryder Cup standings after the conclusion of this week’s BMW Championship receive an automatic spot onto the team, I think nine of the 12 spots are already called for.
Scottie Scheffler, Wyndham Clark, Patrick Cantlay, Brian Harman, Brooks Koepka, Max Homa, Xander Schauffele, Jordan Spieth, and Collin Morikawa have already punched their tickets to Rome leaving three spots up for grabs.
Among the players that will have the full attention of U.S. captain Zach Johnson come Sunday will include Cameron Young, Keegan Bradley, Sam Burns, Rickie Fowler, Justin Thomas, Denny McCarthy, Dustin Johnson, and Lucas Glover.
Excluding Johnson who plays on LIV Golf, Glover is furthest down the points list among those other names sitting in 16th, but he’s also the hottest player on the planet, and it’s not particularly close.
Not only does Glover have his back-to-back wins going for him, he also has timing on his side with the Ryder Cup team being finalized after the conclusion of next week’s Tour Championship, a full month before the Ryder Cup actually begins.
If Johnson wants to go with hot hand over flashy names like Thomas or Fowler, Glover is the very simple answer.
While form and time are on his side, Glover has never competed in the Ryder Cup, but does have two Presidents Cup appearances under his belt. Johnson already has Brian Harman in the team room as the ‘veteran leader,’ but adding another veteran who happens to be playing the best golf of his career doesn’t sound like too bad an idea.
Follow Mark Harris on Twitter @ItIsMarkHarris