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

Life and Style
A teenager boy wakes up.
Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
Critics say Kipling showed loathing for India's primitive villagers in The Jungle Book
filmChristopher Walken, Bill Murray, Scarlett Johanssen Idris Elba, Andy Serkis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate Blanchett and Christian Bale
Life and Style
food + drink
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Playing to win: for Tanith Carey, pictured with Lily, right, and Clio, even simple games had to have an educational purpose
lifeTanith Carey explains what made her take her foot off the gas
Arts and Entertainment
A still from Duncan Campbell's hour-long film 'It for Others'
Turner Prize 2014
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hadley in a scene from ‘Soul Boys Of The Western World’
musicSpandau Ballet are back together - on stage and screen
Arts and Entertainment
From left to right: Ed Stoppard as Brian Epstein, Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Elliott Cowan as George Martin in 'Cilla'
tvCilla review: A poignant ending to mini-series
Life and Style
Bearing up: Sebastian Flyte with his teddy Aloysius in Brideshead Revisited
lifePhilippa Perry explains why a third of students take a bear to uni
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Alan Sugar appearing in a shot from Apprentice which was used in a Cassette Boy mashup
artsA judge will rule if pieces are funny enough to be classed as parodies
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

Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?
Royal Ballet star dubbed 'Charlize Theron in pointe shoes' takes on Manon

Homegrown ballerina is on the rise

Royal Ballet star Melissa Hamilton is about to tackle the role of Manon
Education, eduction, education? Our growing fascination with what really goes on in school

Education, education, education

TV documentaries filmed in classrooms are now a genre in their own right
It’s reasonable to negotiate with the likes of Isis, so why don’t we do it and save lives?

It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate with villains like Isis

So why don’t we do it and save some lives?
This man just ran a marathon in under 2 hours 3 minutes. Is a 2-hour race in sight?

Is a sub-2-hour race now within sight?

Dennis Kimetto breaks marathon record
We shall not be moved, say Stratford's single parents fighting eviction

Inside the E15 'occupation'

We shall not be moved, say Stratford single parents
Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Talks between all touched by the crisis in Syria and Iraq can achieve as much as the Tornadoes, says Patrick Cockburn
Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

The Tory MP speaks for the first time about the devastating effect of his father's bankruptcy
Witches: A history of misogyny

Witches: A history of misogyny

The sexist abuse that haunts modern life is nothing new: women have been 'trolled' in art for 500 years
Shona Rhimes interview: Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Writer and producer of shows like Grey's Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes now has her own evening of primetime TV – but she’s taking it in her stride
'Before They Pass Away': Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Jimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style