Lucas Glover off radar

HE MAY be the defending US Open champion but Lucas Glover knows he still is not in the league with the likes of Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.

And that is not something the 30-year-old South Carolinian is expecting.

"I've always tried to focus on working on my weaknesses and getting better," he said. "And I didn't see a point in changing me or my golf swing or anything like that."

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The Glover win was part of a strange 2009 at the majors – a year where the runners-up, in many ways, made bigger news than the winners. Y.E. Yang stood toe to toe with Woods at the PGA Championship and became the first player to beat Woods after he had led entering the final round of a major.

Stewart Cink broke the heart of 59-year-old Tom Watson and golf fans everywhere at The Open.

Angel Cabrera beat Chad Campbell and 48-year-old fan favourite Kenny Perry at the Masters.

Glover was steady over five days of rain and muck at Bethpage and beat Mickelson and David Duval, the former world No 1 who came in ranked 882nd and, like Mickelson, held a share of the lead on the back nine.

It marked Glover's second career victory, and though he hasn't won since, he did finish third at The Players Championship last month, yet another sign that he can no longer be ignored.

He opened last year at Bethpage with a double-bogey. He knew the only way to recover at a US Open, "the toughest test in golf," was to stay patient, which he did – all the way through his 3-over 73 in the final round that was good enough to seal the win. Anticlimactic? Maybe. But for Glover, it was a sign of how far he'd come.

"Had that been two or three years ago, I don't think I would have even recovered and made the cut," he said of his double-bogey start. "But that was from working between the ears a little bit, and just realising that it had to be that way to succeed."

The game plan will almost certainly have to be the same this year.