SILVIS, Ill. — Lucas Glover ended 10 years without a victory Sunday when he birdied five of his last seven holes for a 7-under 64 to win the John Deere Classic by two shots.
Glover won for the fourth time in his career, the most recent in 2011 at Quail Hollow.
He was among two dozen players separated by three shots on the rain-softened TPC Deere Run when the former U.S. Open champion went on a tear.
It started with a 15-foot birdie putt on the par-3 12th hole. He hit his approach into 4 feet and 7 feet on the next two holes, and then flushed a 7-iron to 3 feet on the 15th hole to take the lead.
Glover finished his run with a 12-foot birdie on the par-5 17th, and a 6-foot putt to save par from the bunker on the 18th that he figured would come in handy.
It never got to that. No one could catch him.
Glover kept it simple, with his game and his observations, saying he “ironed” it well and made a bunch of putts. That’s the recipe on a course with smooth greens and soft conditions.
“They went in and I kept the pedal down,” Glover said when he finished at 19-under 265. “There’s a lot of birdies out there, a lot of great players coming in.”
Kevin Na tried to make a run with three birdies in four holes until he was slowed by a bogey on the 15th and couldn’t make up enough ground. He shot a 68. Ryan Moore also closed with a 68 for a runner-up finish.
Sebastian Munoz of Colombia, who started the final round with a one-shot lead, hit a shank from an awkward stance with the ball above his feet on the first hole. He made bogey and it was a sign of struggles to come. He closed with a 71 and tied for fourth, three shots back.
“Took me three holes to readjust from that, and then did a good job from there,” Munoz said.
Also finishing three shots behind were Adam Schenk (67), Luke List (68) and Scott Brown (69).
Schenk had a one-shot lead with five holes to play as he sought his first PGA Tour victory. But on the reachable par-4 14th hole, he went well right into a nasty lie in the thick, wet rough. He came up short of the green in more deep grass, chipped some 20 feet long and made bogey.
Glover was playing alongside him and made another birdie for a two-shot swing. Glover kept going and Schenk had to settle for pars.
The victory at the 50th edition of the John Deere Classic sends Glover back to the Masters, the PGA Championship and allows him to start next year on Maui for the Tournament of Champions, a place he hasn’t been in a decade.
“It’s been a long 10 years. There’s been some struggles,” Glover said. “I knew it was in there. I had to clean up my brain a little bit and just hit some shots, just play golf. I never lost sight of believing I could do this and win again. It’s always nice to prove yourself right.”
Glover already was in the British Open from having reached the Tour Championship in 2019 (the 2020 British Open was canceled by the pandemic). Moore earned the lone spot at Royal St. George’s, though it was unclear he was going to take it.
SILVIS, Ill. — Sebastian Munoz tried to imagine what Saturday at the John Deere Classic would have felt like without electronic scoreboards around the golf course.
It have created a lot less stress. In rain-softened conditions at the TPC Deere Run, everyone knew that making birdies was the only way to stay in the game.
Once the rain cleared and Munoz no longer had to deal with keeping clubs dry and umbrella open, the Colombian ran off three birdies that gave him a 4-under 67 and a one-shot lead going into the final round.
“It’s huge,” said Munoz, who was at 16-under 197. “Every shot counts, and having every extra one for tomorrow might help me out a lot.”
Even so, there’s reason to feel as though the 50th edition of this tournament is just getting started with 10 players separated by three shots.
Brandon Hagy, still looking for his first PGA Tour victory in his 93rd career start, also had a 67 and was one shot behind.
“Definitely within my grasp,” Hagy said. “I feel like I can hit all the shots that’s necessary to get me over the top. But the key is all these guys here can hit those shots, you just have to stay within yourself, and a few bounces here and there go your way, and we’ll see what happens.”
Five players were two shots behind, a group that included Scott Brown, who had a 63 to match the low score of the round. Adam Long (64), Cameron Champ (64), Kevin Na (66) and Ryan Moore (68) joined him at 14-under 199.
“The beauty of this place is it ain’t over until it’s legitimately over,” said Zach Johnson, a past Deere winner who had a 67. He was six shots behind.
SILVIS, Ill. — Luke List has a happy and healthy home life with his newborn son, and he felt pretty good about his golf game Friday in the John Deere Classic.
List ran off seven birdies in an eight-hole stretch in the middle of his round, his only par on a 12-foot birdie chance on the 15th hole, and posted an 8-under 63. That gave him a one-shot lead over Sebastian Munoz going into the weekend at the TPC Deere Run.
List was at 13-under 129.
Munoz played early and shot a 4-under 67, getting all his birdies on the back nine and then finishing with 10 pars.
Former tournament winner Ryan Moore had a chance to catch List until he ran into trouble off the 18th tee and made bogey, giving him a 66 and leaving him among seven players two shots off the lead. That group included Lucas Glover and Chase Seiffert, each with 63.
List is still searching for his first PGA Tour victory, though that wasn’t front and center over the last month. His son, Harrison, was born June 5 and had to return to the hospital because of a respiratory virus that had him intubated for a few days and in intensive care for two weeks.
List, who is No. 117 in the FedEx Cup with the season winding down, stayed home the last two weeks to help with their 2-year-old daughter.
“It was tough, but it’s been amazing to come back,” List said. “Everyone has been asking and praying and thinking about us, so it’s kind of cool. It’s a big family out here, and it’s nice to know that you’ve got everyone’s support when it’s not going great.”
Harrison is home and gaining weight. “Everything is great now,” List said.
The key to his round Friday was simple. While all eight of his birdies were about 10 feet or closer, there’s a reason for that. List missed only one fairway. On two of the par 5s, he had eagle putts from 25 feet and 10 feet.
“I was able to keep hitting the fairway, which out here is premium, and I was able to attack from the fairway,” List said. “I think there’s a lot of wedge opportunities out there, and if I can keep it in the fairway, then I’ll have some scoring options.”
The scoring was so good, as it often is at the John Deere, that the cut was at 4-under 138.
Among those making it to the weekend was Steve Stricker, the 54-year-old Ryder Cup captain and three-time John Deere Classic winner. Stricker wanted to be part of the 50th anniversary of the tournament, so he skipped his title defense at the U.S. Senior Open.
His play on Friday suggested that was a good move, with six birdies in his round of 66 that left him seven shots behind in the middle of the pack.
“This tournament has meant a lot to me over the years. It’s a special place for me,” Stricker said. “It’s hurt the last few times I haven’t been able to come here. … I wish the two events were at different times. I could have played both of them. But this is the spot for me to be this week.”
One of his birdies was on the par-5 second hole, which he reached in two with an iron. Calling the action was 22-year-old daughter Bobbi Maria Stricker, who plays for Wisconsin.
“Looks like it’s right on it to be honest with you,” she said.
Also making the cut was Nick Watney, who was hovering close to the line with a bogey on the fifth hole (his 14th of the round) and responded with back-to-back birdies. He shot 66, significant because it ended a nasty patch of 18 consecutive missed cuts.
SILVIS, Ill. — Sebastian Munoz never knows when the switch will come on and the putts start to fall, but he recognized it happening Thursday in the John Deere Classic.
Munoz was motoring along when he closed with five straight birdies at the TPC Deere Run for an 8-under 63, turning a solid day into a share of the lead with Chesson Hadley.
“I just go blank, to be honest,” Munoz said. “It’s funny because when I make a lot of birdies, I usually play a little more safe and pick my spots. I have like 10-, 12-footers and they start to drop. That’s what I did today. And that’s where we’re at.”
Hadley was on the other side of the course, finishing on the front nine. It wasn’t nearly as spectacular, but he played bogey-free and had back-to-back birdies on three occasions. He was helped by making three of his birdies from 25 feet.
Hank Lebioda, who finished one shot out of the playoff last week in the Rocket Mortgage Classic, was poised to join them. He was 7 under through 12 holes and tied the lead with a tee shot on the 213-yard seventh hole that stopped 20 inches from the cup.
But he missed the fairway to the right on the par-4 ninth, chose to pitch back to the fairway and hit a wedge to 6 feet below the cup. He missed the par putt and had to settle for a 64. Chez Reavie and Camilo Villegas, who played in the morning, also were at 64.
Scoring was so good in immaculate conditions that nearly half the field broke 70.
Ryder Cup captain Steve Stricker, who chose to play in the 50th anniversary of the John Deere Classic instead of defending his title in the U.S. Senior Open, got off to a sluggish start until he rallied with a few birdies on the front nine for a 70.
That will leave the three-time John Deere champion some work to do Friday afternoon to make the cut. But at least Stricker gets a little more sleep for that 54-year-old body.
“I’m not used to getting up at 5 in the morning anymore to play,” Stricker said. “And I kind of played like I was still asleep for a while. Righted the ship a little bit. A little disappointed that I didn’t capitalize on a few more of those coming in.”
The leading player from among the top five at the end of the week earns a trip to the Open Championship if he’s not already exempt. Munoz is in the field next week at Royal St. George’s. Hadley is not, though with so many low scores, it will take two more days to sort that out.
Cam Davis, a playoff winner in Detroit last week, had to turn down his spot in the Open. Kevin Na decided to withdraw because of travel requirements in place for family members, and next on the reserve list was Davis.
One problem. The Australian can’t travel overseas. He got married last September, lives with his American-born wife in Seattle and decided to start the process of getting a green card for ease of travel overseas and going home to Australia.
He’s at the stage now where he can’t go overseas until he gets a temporary card. He knew that even before winning the Rocket Mortgage Classic. And he will get by.
The emotions of winning for the first time can take a toll. Davis wasn’t sure if he would continue his good form or run out of gas. Thursday was a little of both. He holed an 8-foot eagle putt on the par-5 second and reached 6 under through 11 holes, only to play 2 over the rest of the way for a respectable 67.
“I’m looking forward to seeing my family and celebrating back in Seattle next week and recharging a little bit because this week is already a bit of a grind to get through,” Davis said. “I’m pretty tired. It’ll be nice to relax.”