By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Everyone knows about Fred Couples' affection for Augusta National. Well, Lucas Glover has a similar feeling when he comes to play at Quail Hollow, and not just because he won the Wells Fargo Championship last year.
Glover, who grew up two hours away in Greenville, S.C., has plenty of friends in the area. He stayed at a home on the 15th hole last year, started the week with a get-together of Clemson faithful and celebrated with his mom on Mother's Day when he beat childhood friend and college teammate, Jonathan Byrd, in the playoff.
Not to mention, Glover tied for second at the Wells Fargo Championship in 2009 and has two other top-10s in eight starts. Small wonder that Glover has such a comfort zone at Quail Hollow, which he says "absolutely, absolutely," has a major championship setup.
"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," Glover said. "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."
The positive vibes Glover feels at Quail Hollow could help jump start a truncated season, too, where he's made just six starts and hasn't finished higher than 66th. He took the West Coast off after injuring his knee when he fell awkwardly off a paddle board in December, then tore an intercostal muscle in his left rib at the Masters.
"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," Glover said. "But it's pretty hard to withdraw from that one, so I played through it and just got it fixed and feel good."
Glover missed the cut at the Masters but managed to play the weekend at Hilton Head before, as he called it, “laying an egg” with a final-round 78. The 2009 U.S. Open champ was still in considerable pain at Harbour Town, but he wanted badly to play in the only PGA TOUR event in his home state.
Taking the next week off helped, and Glover pronounced himself "as healthy as I've been since the day I got hurt back in the end of December.
"(I) feel good, just got to keep working on the right things and try to put some scores together," Glover said.