Longtime friends whose caddies are roommates this week, Lucas Glover and Patton Kizzire nearly earned early tickets home. They were among the 16 players who spent the later part of Friday afternoon and evening watching the 3M Open cut line teeter to 3 under, totter to 4 under and back again to 3 under at the last possible moment.
On Sunday, the pair made the most of their weekend opportunity. They combined to shoot 8 under on the front nine and 5 under on the backside. Glover led the charge, turning in a season-best 9-under 62 that gave the overnight leaders some company at the top by the time they teed off just after 1 p.m. Glover rolled 151 feet worth of putts on the TPC Twin Cities greens and finished at 16 under for the tournament to tie for seventh place.
“I didn’t play that much different than the first three days,” said Glover, the 2009 U.S. Open champion at Bethpage Black. “Made a lot of those 10- to 20-footers and confidence kept growing and my reads were solid.”
Glover took a bogey at No. 5 but rolled a tricky 8½-footer for par on No. 9 that allowed him to make the turn in 30 strokes. His fourth birdie on the back nine, from 9 feet on No. 16, meant that an elusive 59 was in play. But he made par on the final two holes.
“I hit my spot,” Glover said of the 18th hole. “Just not enough break. I’ve been over-reading [putts] all week. It was a good stroke, I flushed it. That’s all you can do.”
In Kizzire’s opinion, Glover did plenty. “That was a lot of fun,” said Kizzire, who shot 5-under 66 and finished tied for 34th at 12 under. “He got it going there early making all those putts and, man, I was just trying to keep up.”
Earlier in the week, when Charles Howell III played with Keegan Bradley and Bryson DeChambeau and said their success — Bradley drained a 60-foot putt on No. 11 and DeChambeau shot a 62 — spurred him along.
“It’s like drafting,” Howell said, using the NASCAR analogy.
Kizzire called it a “vibe” a player gets by seeing straight tee shots, a pin-seeking wedge game and putts dropping in the bottom of the cup.
“When you’re in that kind of zone,” he said, “you just keep going. It was a heck of a round. One of the best I’ve seen.”
For Brooks Koepka, another major winner who made the cut on the number, Sunday was another round to forget. After two blowups on No. 18 on Friday and Saturday — taking 15 strokes combined — the world’s No. 1-ranked player found misery on the par-3 17th on Sunday.
Koepka put his tee shot into the water, then three-putted from 36 feet for triple bogey. Koepka, though, didn’t leave without a spark. He rolled in an eagle on the finishing hole to sign off on a 1-over 72 and in 65th place at 6 under.
“Unfortunately I just couldn’t play good enough,” he said. “I just made too many big numbers. About four holes cost me. Otherwise, I’d be right there at 16, 17 under.”