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Glover Looks to Defend at Quail Hollow
After a two-year period following his victory in the 2009 U.S. Open at Bethpage Black, Lucas Glover earned his third career win in last year's Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte.
Glover closed with a 3-under 69 to tie Jonathan Byrd in regulation, and then edged his fellow Clemson alum with a par on the first sudden-death playoff, the par-4 18th. During a session with reporters Tuesday, Glover admitted that last year's victory at Quail Hollow Club was special because of who he beat. "Where there's a handful of guys out here, if you can't win, you want them to, and Jonathan and I are close enough friends and have been together enough over the years where we pull awful hard for each other.
"Win or lose last year in the playoff, it was pretty cool for both of us. Unfortunately, one of us had to lose, and I was fortunate enough to hit a better shot at the end there. Not to say if we played another hole, it wouldn't have been him. Yeah, any time you're in contention to win, it's a highlight. Any time you win, it's a highlight. But it was double a highlight being with somebody you've grown up with and are so close with."
Glover is impressed with the treatment the players receive at Quail Hollow, as well as the highly regarded golf course. "The way the golf course is set up, the condition the golf course is in, the way they take care of us here, it's as close as you can get without having that label [of a major championship setup]. But any time you have a great venue and a great field, it's going to have that feel, and we have both of those here. That goes big credit for Wells Fargo, Quail Hollow, the staffs of everybody, and they do quite a job for us.
Here's what else the 32-year-old South Carolinian had to tell reporters.
MODERATOR: We'd like to welcome our defending champion of the Wells Fargo Championship, Lucas Glover. Lucas, it's hard to believe it's been a year, but if you want to talk about your thoughts coming back into and defending here at Quail Hollow and then we'll have a few questions.
LUCAS GLOVER: Yeah, it's obviously always great to come here, first of all. Second of all, always nice to come somewhere you love and be the defending champion. Excited to be back and looking to try to play well and have a good defense.
Q. We spoke to Jonathan out on the range, and he said that the playoff loss to you last year was one of the greatest moments of his golf career, and I'm just curious to get your - seems like an odd thing for fairly competitive guys as hard as it is to win out here.
LUCAS GLOVER: Yeah, it's one of those situations, I alluded to it last year, where there's a handful of guys out here, if you can't win, you want them to, and Jonathan and I are close enough friends and have been together enough over the years where we pull awful hard for each other. Win or lose last year in the playoff, it was pretty cool for both of us. I think for him to say that, and I think the exact same way, so it was great for us to be out together. Unfortunately one of us had to lose, and I was fortunate enough to hit a better shot at the end there. Not to say if we played another hole, it wouldn't have been him. Yeah, any time you're in contention to win, it's a highlight. Any time you win, it's a highlight. But it was double a highlight being with somebody you've grown up with and are so close with.
Q. What was that moment like for you because it had been a while since you had won? It is tough to win out here. It had to be a great moment regardless of who you beat.
LUCAS GLOVER: Yeah, you're right. It was a great moment. Mother's Day, my mom was here, and a lot of family, a lot of friends. Like you said, any time you win, it's great. But to do it there with Jonathan, it made it extra special.
Q. Coming back as the defending champ, does that give you a little extra spring in your step knowing you've had success here and played well here?
LUCAS GLOVER: Yeah, I think any time you come somewhere you've had success, it gives you that little bit of confidence, even if it's been a strange year for you. This has only been my sixth start, I've been hurt, been fighting it a little bit, but I kind of equate it as to we all get hurt, and you guys wrote about Freddie at Augusta, you expect him to drive through those gates and play well and he loves it there, and that's how I am here. I was here last Sunday and played with some friends, and probably the best round I've played all year, and I know it was practice and I know it doesn't matter and nobody cares, but just being here, there's something about it for me.
Q. Last year you made some adjustment in the club face. At that moment it sounded like, he's got it, everything is figured out.
LUCAS GLOVER: Yeah, I think that's called a Band Aid that sometimes they work and sometimes they don't for us, because at the level that a lot of us are at - that we're all at, it's usually not that far off. For me it was simple as squaring up the club face at address. I'm not going to say I hit it great and that cured everything because I putted as well as I've ever putted for a week. But it was enough to get me to where I could putt at least. But you know, you see guys, especially as the tournament starts and goes on, you never see guys worrying about their swing all that much, just some minor adjustments. And for me it was just that little click on Wednesday that just that made the ball start coming out where I wanted it to. Just a Band Aid that worked, and I still think about it actually. One of those things you check.
Q. How long did it work?
LUCAS GLOVER: About four days. (Laughter.) No, I started hitting the ball a lot better right then, and then it continued, and I played really well until the last nine holes at TPC last year. I think at one point I was tied for the lead, and still, that was my only thought. But then I was making everything I looked at for 45 holes or something there. But there was some carryover. Any time you get a shot of confidence, it will carry over, so . . .
Q. Over the years I've heard players here say that one of the reasons they like coming here is it's a major championship setup. Do you feel it is similar?
LUCAS GLOVER: Absolutely, absolutely, 100 percent. The way the golf course plays, the way the golf course is set up, the condition the golf course is in, the way they take care of us here, it's as close as you can get without having that label. But any time you have a great venue and a great field, it's going to have that feel, and we have both of those here. That goes big credit for Wells Fargo, Quail Hollow, the staffs of everybody, and they do quite a job for us.
Q. What's the status of the knee?
LUCAS GLOVER: Knee has been fine. I had a little rib thing crop up at Augusta that's hampered me a couple weeks there at Augusta and Hilton Head, but I'm as healthy as I've been since the day I got hurt back in the end of December. You know, feel good, just got to keep working on the right things and try to put some scores together.
Q. Do you know what it was with the rib?
LUCAS GLOVER: Yeah, I pulled an intercostal muscle on my left side between 11 and 12, so pretty tough to rotate, and I think if it had been any other week but Augusta I don't think I would have played. But it's pretty hard to withdraw from that one, so I played through it and just got it fixed and feel good.
Q. You played Hilton Head still?
LUCAS GLOVER: Yeah, same kind of feel for me. You know, that's home only tournament in my home state, so I felt obligated to play and play through it. You know, not sure how I did it, but I made the cut and kind of laid an egg at the end there. But it was painful, but I wanted to play and wanted to be there good or bad.
Q. A couple weeks ago Coach Penley took me around the new golf building at Clemson, and I know you put a lot of money, a lot of effort, a lot of time into getting that thing built, and there's a road out front that has your name on it. Talk about what it took to get that done and just your feeling about the finished product because it's a beautiful building.
LUCAS GLOVER: Yeah, well, a lot of the golf alumni, we started out just wanting to redo the driving range because when I was there and guys before me and a few years ago literally our practice facility was the parking lot for the home football games. So you'd get to the weekend when the RV showed up we didn't have anywhere to hit balls. Our first step was redoing the practice facility and then getting the athletic department to protect it, and we got that done. And then that took three or four years, and then we said, all right, let's do it even better, so we did a short game area, and we got that done in a shorter time than we thought. So we said, all right, the final piece here is this building.
It's just like football recruiting, it's an arms race, and golf is that popular now and it's a showpiece and a recruiting tool for coach and the program and the athletic department. Honored, of course, to have my name there and whatever, didn't want it, expect it, but they did it, so I'm appreciative. But Coach Penley deserves that and those boys deserve it. He's worked awful hard, 28 years now, 29 years, and he did more with less for a long time.
Q. He says you hate that road sign.
LUCAS GLOVER: No, I've never seen it in person. Not much for the attention, but I'm appreciative.
Q. Do you have more confidence coming back here as a past champion?
LUCAS GLOVER: Yeah, any time you have success somewhere, it breeds a little bit of confidence, so yeah, I feel good when I get here, yes, ma'am.
Q. Talk about playing the 17th from the left side.
LUCAS GLOVER: Yeah, I was over there for the first time last Sunday, and that's the first time I've played that tee. Still a hard hole, but I think it's a little more receptive to the shot the hole calls for, which is a draw. From the right tee it's almost like you've got to hit a cut to hold the green, and it's not exactly set up that way. You have to be a hooker like I am. But it's a little more conducive to the shot the hole calls for. Your trouble is left, so you want to obviously hit a draw in there. I think it'll still be quite a hole, and I think there's a little more possibilities for some different hole locations. I think the Tour officials were a little strapped with where they could put the hole from the right tee. I think they can be a little more creative from the left tee, which is good, as well.
MODERATOR: Thanks for your time, Lucas. Good luck this week.
The transcript for the above interview is courtesy of ASAP Sports.