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Glover stays hot with new long putter, leads Barbasol Championship with first-round 63

Lucas Glover Lucas Glover - The Canadian Press

NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Lucas Glover continued the hot streak that began when he switched to a long putter, shooting a 9-under 63 on Thursday for a one-shot lead in the Barbasol Championship.

The 43-year-old Glover extended his run of consecutive rounds in the 60s to nine. After struggling with his putting for years, the 2009 U.S. Open champion began using the broomstick two weeks ago at the Rocket Mortgage Classic and finished tied for fourth. He followed that with a tie for sixth last week at the John Deere Classic.

“Just got confidence in the putting and making some of those mid-range putts and very comfortable over the short ones again,” Glover said. “Anytime you’re putting well it takes pressure off the rest of your game. You don’t feel so much pressure to hit it perfect, which is not possible.”

Fellow PGA Tour veterans Ryan Moore and Ryan Armour each shot 64 at Keene Trace Club.

Michael Gligic of Burlington, Ont., is the low Canadian after a 4-under 68 round to sit in a tie for 24th. Taylor Pendrith of Richmond Hill, Ont., is tied at 38th following a 3-under 69 day, Aaron Cockerill of Stony Mountain, Man., is tied for 99th at even-par 72 and David Hearn of Brantford, Ont., is 1-over 73 to sit at 116th.

Glover made six birdies on the front nine to turn in 5-under 31. Then he holed his approach from 138 yards for eagle on the par-4 12th and made consecutive birdies on the 15th and 16th holes.

Glover won the last of his four PGA Tour titles at the John Deere two years ago.

“There hasn’t been until recently a lot of low rounds, but I’ve always liked this time of year and this stretch,” said Glover, who’s playing the Barbasol for the first time. “Getting hot at the right time, and 63 anytime anywhere is pretty good. I’ll take ’em.”

Armour, one of the first players to go off Thursday morning, and Moore were nearly as impressive on a sunny, humid day.

Armour birdied Nos. 2-5 and closed with another run of four straight birdies. Moore birdied each of the four par-5s in his bogey-free round.

“Had three really good chances for eagle, which I made zero of them,” Moore said, “but having two-putt birdies three times a day is nice and no-stress two-putts are nice.”

Daniel Brown, Wesley Bryan, Cody Gribble and Andrew Novak each shot 65.

The group two shots off the lead included four European tour players who traveled across the Atlantic for this co-sanctioned event: Marcus Helligkilde of Denmark, Marcus Kinhult of Sweden, Angel Hildago Portillo of Spain and American Johannes Veerman. They were joined by Americans Adam Long and Bo Van Pelt and Swede Vincent Norrman, who plays on the PGA Tour.


AP golf: and