CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Lucas Glover had gone 41 tournaments and nearly two years since winning the U.S. Open for his last victory. His win Sunday in the Wells Fargo Championship was every bit as demanding.
Glover closed with three tough pars on the rugged finishing stretch at Quail Hollow for a 3-under 69. Then he faced a playoff with close friend and former Clemson teammate Jonathan Byrd, who made a 15-foot birdie putt on the final hole to catch him.
Glover kept the tournament in suspense to the very end.
After Byrd took bogey with a poor chip from the hazard, Glover had two putts from 25 feet for the win. He left the first one 4 feet short and still above the hole, then knocked that in for his third career victory.
This one came out of nowhere.
Glover, who has been going through a divorce the last several months, missed the cut in his last three tournaments and had only one top 10 in the last year. But he found something in his game when he arrived at Quail Hollow, and he showed great nerves in a tight finish.
Glover became the first player in the nine-year history at Quail Hollow to win with four rounds in the 60s.
Byrd, who started the final round with a one-shot lead as he tried for his third win in seven months, closed with a 72. Even so, he finished with two clutch pars and one dramatic birdie to catch Glover and force the playoff. They finished at 15-under 273.
Rory Sabbatini, who closed with a 65 and was 13-under 131 on the weekend, wound up alone in third at 14 under and will move into the top 50 of the world. Now he has to stay there for two more weeks to be exempt for the U.S. Open.
Lehman wins in Champions
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Tom Lehman won the Regions Tradition for his third victory in seven Champions Tour events this year, beating Peter Senior with a par on the second hole of a playoff.
Senior, from Australia, missed a 5-foot par putt when it lipped out on No. 18. Lehman two-putted from about 20 feet, polishing off his second bogey-free day at the first Champions Tour major of the season.
Both parred the first sudden-death playoff hole, also No. 18 at Shoal Creek.
Lehman and Senior finished at 13-under 275. Lehman had a 3-under 69, and Senior shot a 68.
Senior also missed a potential winning putt on the first playoff hole by a couple of inches to the right, then had an even closer one from the other side.
Lehman won his second Champions Tour major and fifth overall title on the 50-and-over circuit. He won the Senior PGA Championship last year, beating Fred Couples and David Frost in a playoff.
Loren Roberts (65) was third at 11 under, and Michael Allen (69) was 10 under. Third-round leader Mark Calcavecchia shot a 75 to fall into a tie for fifth at 9 under.
Amateur captures tourney
ATHENS, Ga. — University of Georgia senior Russell Henley became the second amateur winner in Nationwide Tour history, shooting a 3-under 68 for a two-stroke victory in the Stadion Classic on the Bulldogs’ home course.
The three-time All-America selection finished at 12-under 272 on the University of Georgia Golf Course.
Daniel Summerhays is the only other amateur winner since the tour began in 1990, taking the 2007 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Invitational in between his junior and senior seasons at BYU.
Troy Kelly shot a 70 to finish second — and take the $99,000 top prize. Monday qualifier Will Wilcox (67) and Matt Hendrix (70) tied for third at 9 under.
Aiken collects Spanish Open
TERRASSA, Spain — South Africa’s Thomas Aiken won the Spanish Open for his first European Tour title, a victory he dedicated to Spanish great Seve Ballesteros.
Ballesteros died Saturday from complications of a cancerous brain tumor.
Aiken shot a 2-under 70 at Real Golf Club El Prat for a 10-under 278 total.
Denmark’s Anders Hansen (70) was second, two strokes back. Scotland’s Scott Jamieson (71) and Spain’s Pablo Larrazabal (71) were another stroke back.