U.S. Open winner uncorks wild yip move — and the internet had thoughts
He made the putt. And there are not, as they say, pictures on the scorecard, but a five-second video struck a chord.
What is that?
Technically, that’s easy! It was a 3-foot par putt from Lucas Glover, your 2009 U.S. Open winner, during Thursday’s first round of the American Express tournament. But as you can see — maybe — there’s more. Or is it less? On the putt, Glover took his blade back with a quick wrist flip, then moved it forward with another flip, and his ball rolled in.
Though now you may have more questions …
Has Lucas Glover putted this way before?
Yes, most notably at last year’s Honda Classic, where it was recorded and shared across the internet much like this week’s putt, and you can have a look at that below.
Is it legal?
On the Honda putt, we dug into this. In short, yes, and here’s what we wrote:
Under Rule 10.1, you’ll see the “stroke” defined as the following:
A stroke is made by fairly striking at a ball with the head of a club. The fundamental challenge is to direct and control the movement of the entire club by freely swinging the club without anchoring it.
In the associated language under 10.1a/1, the rules outline three methods that do not constitute a “stroke”:
– A player holes a short putt by striking the ball with the bottom of the clubhead, using a motion similar to that used in making a shot in billiards or shuffleboard. Moving the ball like this is a push.
– A player moves the club along the surface of the ground pulling it towards him or her. Moving the ball like this is a scrape.
– A player slides a club beneath and very close to the ball. The player then lifts and moves the ball by use of a forward and upward motion. Moving the ball like this is a scoop.
Which brings us back to Glover. After the Honda putt dropped, a small group of commentators on social media speculated that the putt was more of a push, which should have constituted a two-shot penalty. And while it may look that way to the naked eye, when you slow down the video, you can see the tiniest of backswings. You can also see Glover’s arms move (slightly), which means this was a legitimate stroke under the rules of golf, fair and square.
It’s a yip move. Golf Digest’s Luke Kerr-Dineen expertly noticed that Glover putted ‘traditionally’ on at least two other occasions on Thursday at the American Express, and the putt in question was an outlier. Though at least it was under some control. After all, there was this from Glover:
Of course, it wasn’t always like this. Glover’s been a world-class player; besides his Open victory, he’s also won the 2005 Funai Classic and the 2011 Wells Fargo Championship. But then golf got in his head, because that is what golf does.
But Glover worked at it, as Michael Bamberger wonderfully described here. And Glover won again, in 2021 at the John Deere Classic.
There’s a quote in the Bamberger piece, though, that maybe sums up our question best. It comes from Glover’s agent, Mac Barnhardt.
“You can’t be cured of the yips — everybody has them. But you can minimize them.”
And on Thursday, Glover made the putt.