Lucas Glover back in the hunt at the Masters after strong finish, 2nd-round 69

Three-under score, his best at Augusta National by two shots, has him in the top 15 going into Saturday

Lucas Glover tees off on the 12th hole during a practice round for the Masters golf tournament Wednesday, April 9, 2014, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Lucas Glover tees off on the 12th hole during a practice round for the Masters golf tournament Wednesday, April 9, 2014, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Lucas Glover started relatively well before finishing poorly in the opening round of the Masters on Thursday, but an outstanding second round has the former Clemson standout back in contention at Augusta National Golf Club.

Glover, who finished with a 3-over-par 75 on Thursday, fired a 3-under 69 on Friday to head into weekend play at even par.

His is tied for 15th and seven strokes behind leader Bubba Watson.

Glover birdied the final two holes to finish with a flourish.

“It was good,” Glover said. “It’s always good to birdie the last two, no matter where you are, especially around here. Couldn’t be happier with the way I finished. I had some hiccups there in the middle and felt like I could have done a little better around Amen Corner, but it is what it is.”

Glover shaved a stroke off his score after one hole but was back at 3-over on No. 4.

He was 2-over after nine and headed to 17 at 2-over.

“I still missed some (putts) I should have made,” Glover said. “I missed a two footer on 12 for birdie. So I’m still not going to say I’m happy with my putting. I three putted 9 from nowhere (then) No. 11. So that’s three shots in four holes right there. But I made a long one on 17 and a nice one on 18. So it sounds good, sounds like I’m putting good, because I made it on the last hole.”

The back-to-back birds saved the day and even prompted a fist-pump from the normally reserved golfer.

“I’m not much of a Friday fist bumper, but I don’t think I ever shot in the 60s around here, so that just meant a lot to me,” he said. “That had nothing to do with anybody else or showing anybody up or anything, that was for me.”

Glover’s best Masters finish is 20th (2007) but he had made the cut in only half the ANGC event he entered until Saturday.

His previous low round at the Masters was a 71.

“Yeah, I did a lot of good things (Thursday) and I did the same things good (Friday), I just kind of cleaned up the obvious stuff,” Glover said. “No big numbers.”

With several red numbers near the top of the leaderboard, however, Glover isn’t buying the “contender” tag.

At least not yet.

“To say I’m back in it, I think that’s a little short sighted right now,” he said. “I’m planning on coming out and having to shoot a low one (today) instead of thinking I’m in it right now. But we’ll see where the chips fall.”

Glover’s three PGA Tour victories include the 2009 U.S. Open where he defeated David Duval, Phil Mickelson and Ricky Barnes by two shots at Bethpage Black.

The 34-year old attended Clemson from 1998-2001 and was a First Team All-American his junior and senior seasons.

A three-time winner of the South Carolina Amateur, Glover was a member of the 2001 United States Walker Cup team and the 1999 USA vs. Japan Cup team.

This year is the last that he receives an exemption for the Masters.

“I think if I do what I’m supposed to do and work like I’m supposed to work and play like I’m supposed to play, I’ll be here,” Glover said. “And if not, that’s my motivation.”

Follow Scott Adamson on Twitter @adamsonslAIM

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Comments » 1

tigerrob44#291802 writes:

It was good to see Lucas play well today. He needed to have a really good round. Maybe he will get his game back like he was playing a few years ago. He's too young not to be tearing it up out there. He can hit it is well as anyone but, sometimes it goes sideways. Maybe he's coming back to his old form.

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