SILVIS, Ill. — Lucas Glover made a third straight birdie Sunday afternoon and knew winning the John Deere Classic was in reach with a one-shot lead and four holes to go.
This was not the time to be thinking about ending 10 years without a PGA Tour trophy, though. Conditions were too soft and pure, there were too many birdies to be made — and there were too many players behind him.
"Push, push, push," Glover said. "And I think that kept me from getting complacent, kept me from getting too nervy, because I knew it was going to take a bunch more under par."
He finished with five birdies over his last seven holes for a 7-under-par 64 in the final round, a 19-under 265 total and a two-shot victory, ending 244 consecutive starts since he last won in May 2011.
"I felt good golf coming," the 41-year-old South Carolina native said. "I didn't know how good."
It had to be to win at TPC Deere Run, where the greens were soft from rain but still smooth as can be, the perfect recipe for birdies. Glover was in a logjam that at one point Sunday featured 25 players separated by three shots. Someone had to emerge, and it turned out to be him.
The 2009 U.S. Open winner now has four PGA Tour victories, but he didn't need this one to make the British Open that starts Thursday in England; that spot was secured by him advancing to the 2019 Tour Championship (the 2020 British Open was canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak). However, he is headed back to the Masters and PGA Championship (he missed both this year) as a result, and he's exempt on the PGA Tour through 2023.
"I've always been a big believer in there's nothing guaranteed in this game," Glover said. "It can be easy one day and be really, really, really hard the next. Yeah, it's been a difficult 10 years, but I never lost my faith, never lost my drive, never lost the self-belief. It's a great feeling."
Ryan Moore and Kevin Na each closed with a 68 to share second place, and although Moore earned a spot at Royal St. George's, it was unclear if he would make the trip to the British Open.
The four-way tie for fourth at 16 under included Baylor School graduate Luke List (68), who held the 36-hole lead after shooting a 63 on Friday.