by Jeff Skinner
Lucas Glover finally found a way to win again on The PGA Tour and he does it against his good friend and college teammate Jonathan Byrd. Glover and Byrd wound up tied after regulation play at The Wells Fargo Championship and marched off to a playoff together just like it was a practice round at Clemson.
Glover figures they have played over 100 rounds together but this sudden death playoff was definitely for the biggest stakes yet. Glover seemed comfortable in the playoff and when Byrd landed in a bunker off the tee he had the advantage. Glover’s par was good enough for his first win in 41events. His last win was his biggest, the 2009 U.S. Open at Bethpage.
Glover has been in search of his game this season and he wasn’t on anyone’s radar coming into Quail Hollow. So far in 2011 he has no top tens, his best finish was a T29 at The Waste Management Open and he was coming off three consecutive missed cuts. He said he thought he found a little something during practice early in the week and it allowed him to stop flaring the ball. “Something pretty simple, squaring the club face at address with my irons. I kind of I’m kind of that way with my head at address, so with the way my eyes sit, an open blade looks square. I had to it never dawned on me because it looks right, and I finally got sick of hitting these weak flares to the right and said let’s try to hit some hooks and finally said, well, maybe the blade is open at address because I felt like I was making good golf swings on the range and finally squared it up. If it was up to me, I’d hit a 15 yard hook with about every club. I don’t necessarily need to do that.
But that’s what I’ve been trying to get back to because that’s how I grew up playing, and I haven’t been that way in probably a year and a half, so it was better this week.”
Glover is rumored to be going through a divorce and it is obvious his personal issues have affected his play. But his play this week was stellar. He said his putting was what kept him in the tournament this week. “I putted great all week, and I made some clutch putts, 16, 17, to even be on 18 tee to be even thinking about what I was thinking about. And then to get that one in on 18, I’ve had that putt so many times for par, after putting it from above the hole down there in years past, I felt like I knew what it did, and it was just get it on line and get it there. I was fortunate to I kind of planned on leaving that chip below the hole so I could be aggressive, and luckily that panned out. You know, like I said, I knew the putt and rolled it in.”
He led the field in putts per greens in regulation and was third for the week in putts per round. Combine that putter with a driver that pounds it over 300 yards and that’s a good formula for any golfer. Glover was the first player ever to have all four rounds in the 60’s at Quail Hollow.
Glover is normally an easy going, very calm golfer but he showed plenty of emotion as he fist pumped his way around the course. The pressure of trying to follow up his major win and his personal issues may have been weighing on him. This win should relieve some of that pressure and hopefully let Glover become the player he was once again.
Glover is the only PGA tour player to sport a full, bushy beard. With this win I bet he’ll be hesitant to take a razor to it anytime soon.