Glover No Longer Living In Anonymity

 

By Phillip Howley

Chaska, Minn. - Lucas Glover has run into a problem since he won the U.S. Open at Bethpage Black nearly two months ago. But there is a catch.

“It’s a good problem to have,” he said with a smile.

glover812
Lucas Glover's U.S. Open victory in June has raised the stakes for him at the PGA Championship, set to begin Thursday. (John Mummert/USGA)

Glover’s problem is that he no longer goes about his business anonymously or unimpeded. He no longer walks across parking lots, in and out of golf clubs, without being noticed. His time is no longer entirely his own.

"You get over it a little bit on the golf course," said Glover. "Off the golf course, of course there's still a little bit going on."

Since Glover emerged from the rain forest that was Bethpage State Park in June, carrying the U.S. Open trophy with him, he has been surrounded by the trappings that come with winning a major championship. Relatively unknown before prevailing on the Black Course, Glover is now a big fish in the corporate-outing pond, a marketable name, a member of golf’s invitational “A list.”

Being discovered has been good for the wallet, the frequent-flyer account and, of course, the ego. And it has been beneficial to the golf game -- mostly.

In the weeks immediately following the U.S. Open, he had a tie for 11th at the Travelers Championship and a tie for fifth at the AT&T National.

But the attention and distractions can have a residual effect. Glover tied for 66th after two rounds at the John Deere, missing the weekend, then had an early dismissal at the British Open after rounds of 72 and 77. He bounced back with three good rounds at Firestone Country Club last week, before finishing with a 73 and in a tie for 19th at the Bridgestone Invitational.

Now Glover comes to Hazeltine National Golf Club, site of eight previous USGA championships (including two U.S. Opens, 1970 and 1991), hoping to regroup, refocus and reinforce his breakthrough season with another memorable week. To do so, he must put the distractions aside, something he is learning to do.

“I think it comes with the territory and I think you learn, like anything else,” said Glover, 29. “You gain experience playing golf and you've gained the experience off the golf course if that happens.”

To that end, the experience at Bethpage was invaluable. Glover took the lead during the extended final round on Monday, played with the lead down the stretch, and while his closing score of 73 seems ordinary, he punctuated the round with poise and resilience.

As a result, the Greenville, S.C., native no longer wonders “if” he can win but “when” his next opportunity will come.

“I played well the two weeks directly after the Open, and if I'm playing well, yeah, I think I can do well,” said Glover, whose only PGA Tour victory before the U.S. Open was the 2005 Funai Classic at Walt Disney World Resort. “But from now on it's just getting back into contention, because that's hard enough.”

At 7,600-plus yards, Hazeltine figures to be a long and winding road for 98 of the top 100 players in the world ranking. “That’s just kind of the fad today,” said Jim Furyk, the 2003 U.S. Open champion. “Longer, longer, longer is better. That being said, the best hole on the golf course is the second shortest par 4 [No. 16] on the course.”

Glover, whose solid, accurate driver was an advantage at Bethpage, can hold his own distance-wise. If the former Clemson standout can manufacture a good start at Hazeltine, such as the 69-64 jump he enjoyed at the U.S. Open, the big Minnesota sky is the limit.

“I feel good about how I handled myself at Bethpage, so if I get there I feel like I'll know what to do,” he said.

Naturally, every time someone new comes along to win a major championship, observers want to proclaim that golf has a new rival to its No. 1 component, Tiger Woods. Glover is confident, not delusional. He puts a governor on “rival” talk.

“I got paired with him at AT&T two weeks after [the U.S. Open],” Glover said. “He beat my brains in for two days. So, I think he's still got me.”

He may not be on a par with Woods just yet, but for Glover, the U.S. Open championship was a start.

Phillip Howley is a freelance writer whose work has previously appeared on USGA championship sites and www.usga.org.

 

 

 

Partner Links
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image
Chevron
   

The USGA and Chevron have committed to using the game of golf to encourage students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines. This commitment has led to the creation of extensive golf-focused STEM teaching tools, and has resulted in charitable contributions to support golf-related programs through Eagles for Education™

At U.S. Open Championships the Chevron STEM ZONE™ is an interactive experience highlighting the science and math behind the game of golf through a variety of hands-on exhibits and experiments.

The partnership has also produced educational materials such as the Science of Golf video series and a nationally-distributed newspaper insert which are provided to teachers as tools to enhance existing curriculum in schools. These lessons teach the science behind the USGA’s equipment testing, handicapping, and agronomy efforts.

For more interactive experiences featuring golf-focused STEM lessons, visit the partnership homepage.

Chevron image
Rolex
   

Rolex has been a longtime supporter of the USGA and salutes the sportsmanship and great traditions unique to the game. This support includes the Rules of Golf where Rolex has partnered with the USGA to ensure golfers understand and appreciate the game.

As the official timekeeper of the USGA and its championships, they also provide clocks throughout host sites for spectator convenience.

For more information on Rolex and their celebration of the game, visit the Rolex and Golf homepage.



Rolex image
IBM
   

IBM has partnered with the USGA to bring the same technology, expertise, and innovation it provides to businesses all over the world to the USGA and golf's national championship.

IBM provides the information technology to develop and host the U.S. Open’s official website, www.usopen.com, as well as the mobile apps and scoring systems for the three U.S. Open championships. These real-time technology solutions provide an enhanced experience for fans following the championship onsite and online.

For more information on IBM and the technology that powers the U.S. Open and businesses worldwide, visit http://www.usopen.com/IBM

AmEx image
Lexus
   

Lexus is committed to partnering with the USGA to deliver a best-in-class experience for the world’s best golfers by providing a fleet of courtesy luxury vehicles for all USGA Championships.

At each U.S. Open, Women’s Open and Senior Open, Lexus provides spectators with access to unique experiences ranging from the opportunity to have a picture taken with both the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open trophies to autograph signings with legendary Lexus Golf Ambassadors in the Lexus Performance Drive Pavilion.

For more information on Lexus, visit http://www.lexus.com/

AmEx image
American Express
   

Together, American Express and the USGA have been providing world-class service to golf fans since 2006. By creating interactive U.S. Open experiences both onsite and online, American Express enhances the USGA’s effort to make the game more accessible and enjoyable for fans.

For more information on American Express visit www.americanexpress.com/entertainment


AmEx image