Glover holds nerve to deny Mickelson's popular charge

World No 71 wins maiden major as more famous rivals stumble at the last

Whenever New Yorkers ever want to berate someone for being a party-pooper from now on they may very well accuse them of "doing a Lucas". Certainly the unheralded professional bearing that christian name broke their hearts here yesterday. With respect to Lucas Glover, golf has rarely seemed a crueller game than when watching Phil Mickelson being denied a first US Open and so finishing runner up for a staggering fifth time.

Of course, this was more than just the familiar storyline of the fans' favourite falling agonisingly short once more (incredibly, this was Mickelson's fourth US Open second place in New York). The plight of Amy Mickelson, at home in California awaiting surgery for breast cancer, cranked up the emotion at Bethpage to almost unbearable levels, with yells of support ringing out on each and every step he took.

Before he set off, Mickelson's wife had implored him to bring the title home – "Amy left me a number of little notes, texts, cards, hints, that she would like to have a silver trophy in her hospital room," he revealed last Tuesday – and for a while it appeared she would get her wish.

But just when Mickelson hit the lead, so he hit the buffers. An eagle on the par-five 13th took him level with Glover, but two short putts, on the 15th and 17th, handed the initiative back to the slugger from South Carolina. Glover bogeyed the 15th but nervelessly birdied the 16th and a 73 for a four-under total proved good enough for the player ranked 71st in the world to win the rain-delayed 109th US Open.

"I put myself into a great position to close it out, but it didn't happen," said Mickelson, who last night began a family vacation, before Amy has her operation in 10 days time. "It's been an emotional five days and I suppose second place feels different this time. It's more in perspective. But I do want to win this tournament badly."

He was not the only one leaving Long Island feeling as if glory had slipped his grasp. For Britain there was Ross Fisher gaining his first top-five major finish, but threatening to become the first European winner of this major in 39 years. After missing from 18 inches on the 12th, Fisher emulated Mickelson's eagle on the 13th to pull within one tantalising shot of Glover. Then he found the rough with his next drive and the resulting bogey stalled his challenge. The 28-year-old will doubtless have other chances but this was undeniably gilt-edged.

"I'll go home and work on my putting," vowed the Ascot professional following his 72. "I'm not being funny but if I holed a couple of putts I could have won this thing comfortably."

When he eventually gets over the shock of being back on the big-time leaderboards, David Duval may also bemoan his profligacy. Since winning the 2001 Open, the former world No 1 has embarked on one of golf's most infamous slumps and arrived here ranked 882nd and surely still without a prayer. Wrong. With two holes to go, the forgotten qualifier was tied with Mickelson and Glover. A bogey on the 17th ruined what would have been one of the most remarkable comeback tales in sport. The most bizarre winner at the most bizarre US Open.

In truth this was a torrid final day in which the quality of golf descended dramatically as the wind got up, greens churned up and tension boiled over. Ricky Barnes, the leader going into his final round, fired a 76 but still managed to finish in that three-way tie for second. Indeed, had Barnes' birdie putt dropped on the 18th then Glover would have had an excruciating four-footer to avoid the 18th-hole play-off. But just like Mickelson's 10 minutes before it stayed above ground and Glover's maiden major was assured.

Having missed the cut in the three previous US Opens he had played and having only one PGA Tour victory to his name, it is fair to say that the 29-year-old did not come into the event as one of the more fancied competitors. In fact, the overwhelming majority of those who punted with heads rather than hearts would have sided with Tiger Woods. Yet the world No 1's putter was even more wasteful than that of Fisher and although he launched a mini-charge on the back nine a 15th major never looked realistic.

Still, a tie for sixth was pretty remarkable considering Woods' travails on the greens and, if anything, he will head to Turnberry for next month's Open more confident than ever. As, no doubt, will Rory Fisher, who recorded his first top 10 in a major courtesy of a final-round 68. Mickelson, though, will not be there. "I've got more important things going on," he explained. It didn't really need saying.

US Open Final scores from Bethpage

US Open Championship, Bethpage State Park (Black Course), Farmingdale, New York

Final round scores (US unless stated, par 70): 276 L Glover 69 64 70 73. 278 P Mickelson 69 70 69 70; D Duval 67 70 70 71; R Barnes 67 65 70 76. 279 R Fisher (Eng) 70 68 69 72. 280 T Woods 74 69 68 69; S Hansen (Den) 70 71 70 69; H Mahan 72 68 68 72. 281 H Stenson (Swe) 73 70 70 68. 282 S Garcia (Sp) 70 70 72 70; R McIlroy (N Ire) 72 70 72 68; M Bettencourt 75 67 71 69; R Moore 70 69 72 71; S Ames (Can) 74 66 70 72; M Weir (Can) 64 70 74 74. 283 A Kim 71 71 71 70; R Goosen (SA) 73 68 68 74. 284 M Sim (Aus) 71 70 71 72; I Poulter (Eng) 70 74 73 67; P Hanson (Swe) 66 71 73 74; G McDowell (N Ire) 69 72 69 74; B Watson 72 70 67 75; 285 L Westwood (Eng) 72 66 74 73; S Stricker 73 66 72 74; O Wilson (Eng) 70 70 71 74; S O'Hair 69 69 71 76. 286 S Cink 73 69 70 74; J Edfors (Swe) 70 74 68 74; JB Holmes 73 67 73 73; A Yano (Japan) 72 65 77 72; F Molinari (It) 71 70 74 71; V Singh (Fiji) 72 72 73 69. 287 J Furyk 72 69 74 72; C Villegas (Col) 71 71 72 73; K Sutherland 71 73 73 70. 288 A Scott (Aus) 69 71 73 75; *N Taylor (Can) 73 65 75 75; C Pettersson (Swe) 75 68 73 72; T Hamilton 67 71 71 79. 289 *D Weaver 69 72 74 74; B Mayfair 73 70 72 74; D Johnson 72 69 76 72; T Clark (SA) 73 71 74 71. 290 K Perry 71 72 75 72. 291 J Mallinger 71 70 72 78; T Levet (Fr) 72 72 71 76. 292 G Woodland 73 66 76 77; G Ogilvy (Aus) 73 67 77 75; T Lehman 71 73 74 74; KJ Choi (S Kor) 72 71 76 73; R Mediate 68 73 79 72; A Romero (Arg) 73 70 77 72. 293 *K Stanley 70 74 74 75. 294 A McLardy (SA) 71 72 75 76; A Cabrera (Arg) 74 69 75 76; J-F Lucquin (Fr) 73 71 75 75. 296 B Curtis 72 71 74 79. 297 T Murphy 71 69 77 80; J Brehaut 70 72 81 74. 301 F Funk 70 74 75 82.

*denotes amateur

Arts and Entertainment
Joe Cocker performing on the Stravinski hall stage during the Montreux Jazz Festival, in Montreux, Switzerland in 2002
musicHe 'turned my song into an anthem', says former Beatle
Clarke Carlisle
footballStoke City vs Chelsea match report
Arts and Entertainment
David Hasselhof in Peter Pan
theatreThe US stars who've taken to UK panto, from Hasselhoff to Hall
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Approaching sale shopping in a smart way means that you’ll get the most out of your money
life + styleSales shopping tips and tricks from the experts
newsIt was due to be auctioned off for charity
Coca-Cola has become one of the largest companies in the world to push staff towards switching off their voicemails, in a move intended to streamline operations and boost productivity
peopleCoca-Cola staff urged to switch it off to boost productivity
Sir David Attenborough
environment... as well as a plant and a spider
'That's the legal bit done. Now on to the ceremony!'
voicesThe fight for marriage equality isn't over yet, says Siobhan Fenton
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'