Lucas Glover and Ricky Barnes Both Victors at Bethpage Black
By Stephanie Wei under General

Say it ain’t so! Lucas Glover, the 2009 U.S. Open Champion, wasn’t exactly who most expected or wanted to see at the top of the leaderboard upon completion of play. Then again, it was a peculiar five days, or as some called it, the “never-ending” Open – one that many were glad to see finally come to a close.

Ricky “Ticking Time Bomb” Barnes began the final round with a one stroke lead over Glover. I won’t say that he choked per se. Glover was the deserving winner. He outlasted the rest and played the best for 72 holes.

But unfortunately, well, to say it as nicely as possible, Barnes didn’t bring his A game or for that matter, his B game. Blame it somewhat on nerves, inexperience or this fickle game called golf – whichever you’d like.

It was a shame to see Barnes unravel – he jumped on the bogey train early and couldn’t stop ‘til he reached the 13th hole. Perhaps a funny way to compare it to would be this excerpt from The Royal Tenenbaums:

Tennis Announcer 1: That’s 72 unforced errors for Richie Tenenbaum. He’s playing the worst tennis of his life. What’s he feeling right now?
Tennis Announcer 2: I don’t know, Jim. There’s obviously something wrong with him. He’s taken off his shoes and one of his socks and… actually, I think he’s crying.

We can fill in the blanks for how he probably felt. But, he sure didn’t cry. In fact, he did just the opposite – he was still all smiles at the end of the day. He looked genuinely sincere when he congratulated Glover on the 18th green and also during the trophy presentation. He didn’t try to make any excuses. Instead, he stayed positive about how he played overall. Now that’s what I call sportsmanship.

In my mind, Barnes walked away just as much of a winner as Glover. Hats off to both.

[photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images]