A Quick 9: Lucas GloverLucas Glover captured his first PGA TOUR victory at the Funai Classic. Find out what he was thinking before he holed the winning bunker shot, what he carries in his bag and more in a Quick 9...
Lucas Glover captured his first PGA Tour victory in dramatic fashion at the Funai Classic at Walt Disney World last week. He drained a 40-foot putt from the fringe on the 71st hole and converted a 35-yard bunker shot on the final hole to win by one shot over fellow Titleist ambassador Tom Pernice, Jr. The 25-year-old South Carolina native and Clemson graduate closed with a 7-under 65 to finish the week at 23-under 265. We caught up with Lucas for a Quick Nine...
1. Lucas, congratulations on your first victory. How does it feel to be a winner on the PGA TOUR?
That final shot on 18 proved that I can do it. I didn't prove it in Atlanta (missed a playoff by two shots at BellSouth Classic) and I didn't prove it in New Orleans (missed a playoff by one shot at Zurich Classic) earlier this year, but I feel like I proved it today. I wanted it so bad in Atlanta I felt like I couldn't get out of my own way physically or mentally. Driving home that night I felt as bad then as I feel good now. I'm going to get some sleep tonight.
2. You've been knocking on the door a lot this year and now you have broken through. How would you describe your game?
I am a streaky player. When I was playing well in the spring, and the way I am playing now, it comes down to the consistency of my putting. My ball striking is pretty good and my short game is OK, but when my putter gets hot that is when the birdies usually fly. I was playing with Ryan Palmer at this event last year, and he shot 10-under on Sunday and got the win. It was his time. That's the way it goes. When it's your time, it's your time.
3. What club did you use and what were you thinking as you prepared to hit, what turned out to be, the tournament-winning bunker shot on the final hole?
I carry three Vokey Design wedges down the line - 59, 54 and 49 degrees. I hit the 59 degree lob wedge, which is really a 60 bent to 59, squared the clubface a little bit and it went in. I just tried to get it close so I could get up and down and hope for a playoff. When it left the club I knew it was going to be a decent shot. From where I was, I was eye level with the green, maybe a touch above it, so I could see it bounce. Then it went toward the flag and then it just fell in. I can't explain it, it's just the way it happened.
4. How long have you used a Scotty Cameron putter and which model did you play at the Funai Classic?
I began using a Scotty Cameron putter when I was 15 years old and all through high school and then switched for a time in college. Scotty made me my first putter in November, 2001, right after I got out of college, and I haven't used anything but a Cameron putter ever since. The funny thing is, I put that original putter that he made for me back in my bag about three weeks ago and that is what I used to win this week. It is a Studio Stainless Newport model. I've played a couple of other Cameron putters this year, including a German Stainless Steel prototype and the Futura before I switched back.
5. How long have you been playing Titleist equipment and what's in your bag right now?
I've been playing Titleist equipment since I was 10 years old. One of my grandfather's best friends, Carol Cox, was a Titleist sales rep in lower South Carolina and he always kept me fitted in clubs and balls. He passed away about two years ago but he was a great friend and he always made sure we were using Titleist.
I've been using the same Titleist 983K driver - same shaft, loft and weight - since 2003. That's probably my favorite club. I am also playing the new Titleist Forged 735.CM irons in chrome. I was using the 690.CB irons and switched to the 735's the week of the Shell Houston Open. I tied for 7th at Houston and then tied for 3rd at New Orleans the following week. I feel I can work the short irons more and get the longer irons up in the air better but I still get the same feel I've been used to. And like I said earlier, I carry the three Vokey Design wedges and a Scotty Cameron putter.
6. Have you been out to the Titleist Performance Institute (in Oceanside, California) and what did you learn out there?
I was out there about 18 months ago and worked with Dr. Greg Rose and Randy Myers, who works with Greg but is based in Sea Island, GA. We developed a great program of exercises which I work on with Randy since he's based on the East Coast. I usually try to see him about once every 2-3 months. I saw him in March and then we worked together again at the PGA Championship. Anytime I'm home I go down to visit with him and work on a few things. I have a lot of friends down in that area, too, so it's nice to visit with Randy and then go out and have some fun.
7. When did you start concentrating on your fitness?
I really didn't get too serious until I left Clemson. On the golf team, we had a fitness day once a week, but it wasn't very serious. I was a little bit heavier than I am now when I left school and found I was getting tired a lot so decided to do something about it. I lost some weight and got in better shape but then stopped working out for about 10 months. It was after that layoff that I got serious about it and I've been playing well since, so it's pretty convincing that working out and staying fit is good for me. I also find it's a great way to relieve stress away from the course. It's a good way to get some time by yourself, for stress relief and just to improve yourself. It's not just about golf for me, it's important for my overall health, so I can live a long time and be healthy in general.
8. What do you do to warm-up before a round?
It varies depending on how I feel but I almost always do something for my hamstrings and my lower back. I usually go to the fitness trailer the TOUR provides at each tournament and get on the treadmill for a while. I'll also do some light free weights before heading to the range. Before I start hitting balls I always like to use the stretch pole to get loosened up. My favorite exercises are probably anything for my shoulders, to keep them loose. I had some tightness between my shoulder blades recently, so I like to make sure that area stays loose while also building strength.
9. Now that you are a winner on the PGA Tour you get to enjoy all the benefits that go along with it, like participating in the season-opening Mercedes Championships. What will keep you motivated going forward?
First, it will be an honor to be able to play at the Mercedes with so many great players. There will be some bigwigs out there. I am also getting married soon (December 3), so I guess that will be my extended honeymoon.
As far as motivation goes, I'm driven to improve. It's great to be out on TOUR, but if you're not getting in the majors and contending, you're just going to be an average player. I want to get better but I also want to get in the big tournaments and mix it up with the big guys.
Now a Quicker Nine...
Favorite TOUR stop: I have three - Hilton Head, Colonial and the Memorial
Favorite city: Chicago
Favorite band: The Beatles
Favorite book: Not sure of my favorite, there are so many. The most recent book I read was “Water is Wide” by Pat Conroy.
Favorite restaurant:: Justine’s Kitchen, Charleston, SC (great Southern food)
Favorite Movie: I like the old comedies – CaddyShack, Fletch. I also liked Wedding Crashers
Favorite actress: Morgan Freeman
What was your first car and what do you drive now?: My first car was a 1992 Toyota Four Runner and now I have a Chevy Tahoe
Did you have a role model growing up? My grandfather. I spent a lot of time with my grandparents, but especially with my grandfather. He pretty much raised me. He played all the sports with me and really got me started in golf.
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