By Brian Allee-Walsh, PGATOUR.COM Correspondent
AVONDALE, La. -- Two things could prevent Zurich Classic of New Orleans third-round leader Lucas Glover from winning his first PGA TOUR event in two years:
The first scenario is unlikely since Krista's due date is two weeks off, though Glover said, if needed, he would drop what he is doing and return to their home in St. Simons Island, Ga.
The second scenario is a distinct possibility since the putter has let him down countless times during his career, most recently last week at the RBC Heritage where he shot 70-79 and failed to make the cut at Harbour Town.
But this week in New Orleans has been different. He has holed 50 of 54 putts from inside 10 feet, including 18 of 20 Saturday en route to a 2-under 70 and 14-under 202 total for a two-shot lead over Kyle Stanley, Jimmy Walker, Billy Horschel and D.A. Points.
At one point on the back nine, Glover held a 3-shot cushion but untimely bogeys at Nos. 14 and 17 brought him back to the pack. Thanks to a well-struck 5-wood hybrid on the par-5 18th that led to a birdie, he'll go to sleep Saturday night holding a lead for the first time in a long time.
"Sorry, I don't remember when,'' Glover said.
Glover does know that 29 players are within six shots of the lead and they'll have him in their sights when they commence to swinging early Sunday morning.
"I've got the lead,'' he said. "I've got a big bull's-eye on my back, so they're going to be guns-a-blazing, and I'm going to have to do the same thing.''
Glover said he will draw on the lessons learned at the 2009 U.S. Open at Bethpage Black when he played in the final group for the last 36 holes and staved off Phil Mickelson, David Duval and Ricky Barnes to win by two strokes.
"That's about as much pressure as you can get, and I executed at a pretty high level there,'' he said. "So that will be in my mind tonight and in the morning.''
The first order of business is to shut out a 2012 season that was short-circuited after 16 events (10 of which he missed the cut) following season-ending knee surgery last September. He tweaked his right knee paddle boarding in Maui prior to the Hyundai Tournament of Champions in January 2012 and played hurt for eight months.
When he returned to the TOUR in January, he was a changed man; finally healthy, remarried, sans beard and carrying TaylorMade clubs in his bag.
A tie for fourth at The Honda Classic in his fifth event back suggested he had blown the rust off. But he has fallen on hard times, missing the cut in three of his last four TOUR stops.
Which makes his 54-hole lead in New Orleans all the more satisfying.
"I hadn't planned on coming here,'' he said. "It (the birth of their child) was in the back of my mind and in the back of her mind. I committed Thursday of last week. But my wife said, ‘You're playing well, and I know you're not going to want to leave when the baby comes so why don't you go play.’ I'm glad she did.''