[PHOTO: Gregory Shamus]

Lucas Glover endured one tough day at TPC Southwind in which not much went right. Except the ending.

Glover beat the heat of an oppressive summer day and also that applied by Patrick Cantlay to win for the second time in as many weeks, capturing the FedEx St Jude Championship with a par on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff. The win was the sixth of his career and continued an amazing run for the 43-year-old from South Carolina, who in June wasn’t even in the running to keep his PGA Tour card.

In the playoff, Cantlay, seeking his fourth win in his past six playoff starts, pulled his tee shot left at the par-4 18th hole and watched it trickle into the lake. Glover, after safely finding the fairway and the green, two-putted from 22 feet and then watched as Cantlay, putting from almost the same distance and line, burned the right edge on his par save.

The victory for Glover in the opening FedEx Cup Playoff event, coming on the heels of his win last Sunday at the Wyndham Championship, was worth $US3.6 million. The former US Open champion became the sixth player over age 40 to win back-to-back tournaments in the past 40 years. Vijay Singh did it three times, most recently in 2008 when he won the FedEx St Jude Championship and Dell Technologies Championship. He’s the first player older than 40 to win a playoff event since Tiger Woods at the 2018 Tour Championship.

“I said yesterday that the big guns would be coming and they came. I was just the last man standing,” Glover said after converting for the first time in 10 tries with a 36-hole lead thanks to a closing one-under 69. He finished at 15-under 265, while Cantlay stormed into the playoff thanks to a bogey-free 64.

Glover arrived at the Wyndham last week 114th in the FedEx Cup standings and moved into the postseason ranked 49th. He now advances to the BMW Championship at Olympia Fields in fourth place and with a realistic chance to win the $US18 million bonus for the season-long title.

Rejuvenated thanks to switching to a long putter at the Memorial Tournament, Glover had a chance to win the tournament in regulation but left a 21-foot birdie putt a foot short at 18. He struggled with his full swing for much of the day, but the putter bailed him out time and again. He made par saves of seven, 20 and 11 feet on his inward nine plus a 29-foot bogey putt after finding the water at the par-3 14th.

Glover began the day one stroke ahead of Taylor Moore, who proceeded to bogey his first two holes to allow early breathing room. Jordan Spieth made two early birdies to get within one, and Tommy Fleetwood also made a run at Glover, but neither ever caught him.

Cantlay finally did, however. Having begun the day five behind, the 2021 FedEx Cup champion slowly worked his way up the board and also got within two when he chipped in from 24 feet at the par-4 10th. He sprang into the lead with birdies at 15 and 16, but he couldn’t capitalise on birdie tries of 18 and 20 fee, respectively, on the final two holes. Glover’s tap-in birdie at the par-5 16th set up extra holes.

Playing alongside Cantlay, Rory McIlroy birdied the last for a bogey-free 65 to end up tied for third with Fleetwood, who shot 68 but missed birdie tries on his final two holes that could have tied Cantlay.

Jon Rahm retained his lead as the overall leader in the FedEx Cup standings, followed by Scottie Scheffler, McIlroy, Glover and Cantlay.

The clubs Lucas Glover used to win the 2023 FedEx St Jude Championship

In the race for the top 50 and the second leg of the playoffs at the BMW Championship, two men earned their way in and two fell out. Australia’s Cam Davis closed with a three-under 67 and finished in a large group at 11-under 269, good for a share of sixth, to move from 62nd to 45th. Pushing inside the top 50 sets up the Sydneysider’s 2024 season, allowing him to enter all the limited-field and eight “signature” tournaments (Davis is already exempt into next year’s Masters and PGA Championship).

Former Masters winner Hideki Matsuyama played his final six holes in five-under par for a clutch 65 and 281 to end T-16, lifting him 10 places to 47th.

The odd men out were Mackenzie Hughes (51) and Nick Hardy (52), who began the week 47th and 50th, respectively.