Lucas Glover bounded down the stairs into the scoring area to the cheers of about two dozen friends and family members who clamored over the ropes to wrap him in a group hug.
Three of his four living uncles were in the crowd, one of whom had driven up Sunday morning from Greenville, South Carolina, where Glover grew up. Aunts and cousins, second cousins, too. A friend from Charleston made the trip. So did the man who was the sports information director at Clemson where the 43-year-old had played his college golf.
To a man, and to a woman, they all knew how significant Sunday – when Glover won the Wyndham Championship – was for him. His grandfather, the late Dick Hendley, who would have turned 97 that day, and that rainbow arching high over Sedgefield Country Club seemed the perfect tribute as Glover pointed to the sky.
“He got me started playing and was my mentor and my hero,” said Glover, whose kids Lucille and Lucas Jr. were on hand to see him win in person for the first time, too. “Tried not to think about it too much until the end there.
“Like to think I had a leg up on everybody today because of that. Still had to do what I had to do.”
It wasn’t easy, either, even with divine intervention looming like the mist that settled over Sedgefield after a rain delay of just over two hours. Glover came back out and parred his final four holes while Russell Henley, his nearest challenger, bogeyed his last three.
The closing 68 gave Glover a two-stroke victory, the fifth of his PGA TOUR career that began in 2004, and landed him in the FedExCup Playoffs. He had started the week ranked No. 112 but left Greensboro suddenly headed for Memphis and the FedEx St. Jude Championship, ranked a solid 49th.
“Don’t have any plans yet, but we’ll figure it out some time,” Glover said with a smile. “Yeah, it’s just let this soak in and get my body and my mind right and get back to work Tuesday or Wednesday.”
Truth be told, the groundwork for Sunday’s popular victory was laid in late May during the two weeks prior to the Memorial Tournament when Glover decided to try a long putter as he attempted to cure what he matter-of-factly admitted was a 10-year battle with the yips. He’s now had a win and three top-six finishes since he put it into play.
“I made up my mind something was going to change then,” Glover recalled. “I was going to try the long one and if that didn’t feel good, I was going to try left‑handed. That’s how far down the road I was.
“Nothing I did worked, nothing I practiced worked. Brain was just fried. Ten years of dealing with it and not understanding it and not realizing or not comprehending how it could happen that I could just lose all feelings over a 10‑inch putt. It was frustrating. I fought it for a long time.”
His troubles began when he four-putted the fifth green at Colonial Country Club in either 2013 or ’14 – “Like random, out of nowhere,” Glover recalled. The 2009 U.S. Open champion had success in the interim, even reaching the TOUR Championship in 2019, but also times of deep torment.
Glover recently had started working with Brad Faxon, the TOUR veteran and current TV analyst who has always been known for his putting skills. When the results weren’t there, Faxon, who also advises Rory McIlroy among others, suggested the long putter, and Glover, who had not finished better than 36th in his first 17 starts this year, was past ready to make a switch.
“I just ordered one and asked for Adam Scott specs from the putter rep,” Glover recalled. “I said, ‘We’re about the same height, I don’t want to know anything else, and I’ll teach myself how to do this.’”
That challenge required new motor skills and a “whole new brain function.” He worked with the putter in his garage and figured out how to stand. He spent 10 days working with it on the practice green before heading to the Memorial where he missed the cut but was pleased with how the ball was rolling.
“My misses weren’t that crazy, awful, yippy stroke – they were just misses,” Glover said. “And that’s OK. So then once I figured out my tendencies with it, it became fun to kind of teach myself. … (It) was kind of that thing if you ever want a TOUR player to practice more, you give them a new club because they’ve got to get used to it, figure it out.”
Glover said he’s gotten so comfortable with the putter he’s now confident that it’s the speed or the read that caused the ball to veer away from the hole – not his hands on the grip of the club. At Sedgefield this week, Glover led the field in putts per green in regulation and made 24 total birdies while dropping just four shots to par.
The freedom he feels has been revitalizing.
“It’s not the nervy, hand‑shaking, just completely loss of all never‑played‑this‑game‑before‑type hook, which I did here,” Glover said. “I had a putt for 59 here a few years ago and left it short and yipped the next one, shot 61.
“It’s just, it’s been a revelation for me. Honestly, my brain, my head. It’s fun, and it’s been a huge positive obviously.”
That sure showed at Sedgefield.
Source : PGA Tour