Former Clemson golfers Lucas Glover and Kyle Stanley are both in the top 10 after the first round of the British Open at Royal St. George’s Golf Club in Kent, England. Glover fired a four under par 66 on Thursday and is in third place after the first 18, while Stanley had a two-under par 68 and ranks in a tie for sixth.
Thomas Bjorn and Tom Lewis have the lead at five under par 65. Glover is tied with former Wake Forest All-American Webb Simpson as the top Americans after the first round.
Glover’s 66 was the best round in history for a former Clemson golfer in the British Open and tied for the second best in any major. Glover’s 64 in the second round of the 2009 US Open is the best round by a former Tiger in a major.
Glover started the round with a bogey on the second hole and was still one-over-par through the eighth hole. But, he made birdies on the ninth and 10th holes. He then finished with birdies on the 16th, 17th and 18th holes. He hit his approach shots to three feet and two feet, on the 16th and 17th holes, respectively, then made a 16-footer on 18.
Glover averaged 320 yards on his drives and hit 14 greens in regulation. He had eight one-putt greens in his 18 holes.
“It was a very solid day,” said Glover. “I had one bogey and a birdie on the front and hit a lot of good shots. I hit it close on nine and made a good putt on 10 for birdie. I was solid up to 16 and then took advantage of two good approach shots on 16 and 17. It was a good way to finish.”
Stanley also got off to a slow start with a bogey on the first hole. He was still one over par through the seventh hole, then made a birdie on the eighth. He followed with birdies on the 11th and 12th holes. He also birdied the 16th hole when he hit his approach shot to the par three to within two feet. He made a bogey on the 18th hole when he lipped out a six foot putt, but his 68 was his low round in a major.
Stanley is coming off a second-place finish at the John Deere Classic in Illinois last week. He won $482,000 at that event to move to 62nd on the PGA Tour money list. He has made 15 cuts in 20 tournaments.
“I putted well today and I hit the ball well,” said Stanley. “ I mainly put the ball in the right spots, which is what you have to do out here. Bobby (caddie Bobby Brown) and I have a great game plan for this course and we just executed our shots really well.”
Stanley had six one-putt greens in scoring his 68 and had 14 greens in regulation.
In addition to scoring in the 60s in the first round, Glover and Stanley also have something else in common…they are both sporting full beards. When asked about Stanley’s beard after the round Thursday, Glover said, “Kyle’s beard looks like a map of Hawaii.”
Clemson has three former players in the 2011 British Open, the most in school history. Jonathan Byrd had a five over par 75 on Thursday.
**INFO FROM CLEMSON SID**