Web.com finish helps to fuel Glover’s resurgence
February 08, 2019
By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
- Lucas Glover secured his PGA TOUR card for the 2018-19 season after a solo second finish at the Web.com Tour Championship last September. (Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – When Lucas Glover finished solo second last September at the Web.com Tour Championship, it was his best result in 187 professional starts since his most recent victory at the 2011 Wells Fargo Championship.
It also helped secure Glover’s PGA TOUR card for 2018-19; otherwise, he would have leaned on a major medical extension (due to knee surgery last June to repair two meniscus tears) to start this season, needing to make enough FedExCup points in a limited number of starts to earn full status.
Perhaps just as important, the runner-up finish to Denny McCarthy gave Glover the confidence that his game was headed in the right direction.
“It just showed me that what I had been working on leading up to that was the right stuff,” said the three-time TOUR winner. “That was the biggest thing. Anytime you play well like that, you get confidence. That was huge.”
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Glover carried that momentum into this season, producing five consecutive top-20 finishes, including a T-7 in Las Vegas last fall, before missing the cut last week at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
He’s bounced back nicely this week with two strong rounds to start the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, including a 6-under 66 at Pebble Beach that left him at 10 under and tied atop the leaderboard. Given that his Saturday round is at Monterey Peninsula, regarded as the easiest of the three courses used in the tournament rotation, Glover might have the advantage among the players in contention.
“I got a few things straightened out last weekend,” Glover said. “You hate to have a weekend off but sometimes it’s a silver lining. That’s how I looked at it. It’s motivating, I can tell you that.”
Glover’s putting has not been his strong suit in recent years – he entered this week ranked 122nd in Strokes Gained: Putting – but Friday was one of his strongest putting rounds. He made 128 feet, 3 inches of putts, including two birdies from outside 20 feet, and was ranked first in Strokes Gained: Putting among all golfers who played Pebble Beach in the second round.
He did miss a 5-foot eagle putt on the par-5 sixth but countered that by rolling in a 14-foot putt to save par on the 17th.
“We know the game gives and takes away,” Glover said. “You hit a 5-wood from 250 [yards] to 5 feet, might have been the hardest putt I’ve had all week. It was a good two balls outside of the hole left and I couldn’t hit it very hard. But a four’s a four on No. 6 at Pebble Beach and I’m pretty happy with it.”
This summer, Glover will celebrate the 10th anniversary of his biggest win, the 2009 U.S. Open. It’s also the last year of his exemption for winning that event. This year’s U.S. Open, of course, will be at Pebble Beach, which is why Glover is working in a little reconnaissance this week along with trying to win the tournament.
“Sometimes it feels like yesterday,” Glover said of his win at Bethpage Black. “Sometimes it feels like 30 years ago.”
And sometimes it takes just one good result for a past major winner to get back on track.