Rookie Norrman wins playoff to capture Barbasol Championship

Published 4:00 pm Monday, July 17, 2023

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Vincent Norrman never strayed too far away from contention in the Barbasol Championship.

Norrman made a crucial 8-foot putt for bogey that forced a sudden-death playoff and made par on No. 18 at Keene Trace Golf Course in Jessamine County to defeat Nathan Kinsey to capture his first PGA Tour title.

Norrman posted a 66 in the final round and ended the four-day event with a 22-under 266. Kimsey fired a 64 and also finished at 22-under.

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“I don’t think I can process this for a while,” Norrman said. “I’m at a loss for words. It’s amazing.”

The final round was tense, but Norman didn’t get distracted by the crowded leaderboard.

“I didn’t even look at any leaderboards today. I was just trying to post a number which I had in my head,” he said. “My caddie has been amazing keeping me going.”

Trevor Cone, the leader after the first three rounds, was tied with Norman at 23-under going into No. 16 but misfired on a tee shot that sailed into the rough, resulting in a double bogey.

Lucas Glover, who was the leader after the first two rounds, finished fifth overall with a 20-under for his third straight finish in the top 10. He has finished under 70 in 12 straight rounds.

Norrman played four years at Georgia Southwestern and one year at Florida State. He notched his first professional win in his 23rd PGA Tour start.

“It’s beyond (anything I have dreamed),” he said. “I don’t think I’ve dreamed this big, honestly. It’s amazing and I’m so happy.”

Saturday shift on the leaderboard

Trevor Cone fired a 9-under 63 and held a one-stroke lead over Lucas Glover and Vincent Norrman on Saturday. The Virginia Tech graduate and a rookie on the PGA Tour said the rain at Keene Trace Golf Course became easier to manage after falling throughout the day.

“We thought the greens might be a tad softer, but early on it wasn’t really raining hard enough for anything to change,” Cone said. “We got to probably 15 and it kind of started deluging, so the greens got a little softer.”

A fast start — 5-under after eight holes — provided the cushion Cone needed to complete his impressive round.

“(I) just got rolling,” Cone said. “Just played smart, fairways, greens, not get too aggressive. Just hoped the putter came alive and today it did. Hopefully, it continues tomorrow.”

Glover, who led through the first two rounds, finished with a 69 and has carded a finish in the 60s during his last 11 starts. Glover is expecting an exciting conclusion.

“These young guys aren’t like when I was young,” he said. “They’re ready to win now. There’s no learning curve anymore. It’s going to be what all of us want tomorrow. It’s going to be a knock-down drag-out and it should be fun.”

For the second straight round, Norrman fired a 5-under-par 67 to remain in contention.

“It was a weird one,” Norrman said. “The weather was awful at times and the sun came out after that. And the golf was pretty good along the way.”

Glover stays strong on Friday

Glover shot a 4-under 68 and led by two strokes going into the third round of the four-day event at Keene Trace Golf Course. In two rounds, Glover carded a 131.

“It was a bit of a struggle,” Glover said. “Uncharacteristically drove it very poorly. I just didn’t hit enough fairways to hit the ball close and take it low again. Happy the way I finished and happy the way I rolled it, just not many of them were very close.”

Despite a struggle in the second round, Glover finished with back-to-back birdies to stay in the lead.

“Birdied the last two, (and made) lunch taste good,” he said. “It was a little scrappy today, but hung in there, got around through four and knew I had a couple par 5s I could get to and just said let’s just grind this out and I did. Pleased with the end result.”

Glover leads Adam Long, Vincent Norrman and Daniel Brown. All three golfers have a 133. He is seeking his first win since capturing the John Deer Classic in 2021 but has finished in the top 10 in his previous two tournaments.

Morehead State graduate Josh Teater failed to make the final cut after shooting a 71 and a 73 (144) during the first two rounds. Former University of Kentucky golfer Chip McDaniel also missed the cut after recording a 71 and 74 during the first two days.

Veteran Glover led after opening round

Glover fired a 63 (-9) and led Ryan Armour and Ryan Moore by one stroke  after Thursday’s opening round. Armour and Moore each carded an 8-under 64.

Glover was even par after the first four holes but recorded a seven-under during the next seven to set the tone for the remainder of the opening round. He recorded an eagle on a 138-yard approach shot on No. 12, a Par 4, as part of his opening-round performance.

“I just got hot with the putter, had some reachable Par 5s in there and obviously making a wedge shot is always nice,” he said. “We had a chance going and coming because we had a backstop there, get the distance right and it’s going to get close one way or the other and it will fall in.”

Recently, Glover switched to a longer putter, which he credits to his recent resurgence on the course.

“That’s the root of it,” he said. “Playing so long, you make putts, it takes the heat off the rest of the game. … I’ve been making those (16- and 18-foot putts) and it just lightens up the rest of the game.”

Glover, 43, sought his fifth career victory and is still enjoys competing.

“I’ve always said if it’s not fun to compete, it’s probably time to hang it up,” he said. “The beauty of the game is that you are competing against all of the other guys and ourselves and usually ourselves is the biggest competitor. It’s still my passion as far as competition.

“Obviously, family is most important now, but it’s still what I’m passionate about. I love competing against myself and all these other great players.”