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June 22, 2009

Lucas Glover


BETH MURRISON: It is my honor to introduce and welcome the 2009 U.S. Open Champion, Lucas Glover.
Lucas, congratulations. Can you talk a little bit about your emotions and how you feel knowing your name is about to go on this trophy sitting between us?
LUCAS GLOVER: Sure. I was pretty nervous coming down the stretch. 16 obviously was huge. And I'm not sure exactly what happened ahead. But two shots ahead, with two to play, and I thought two pars might do it.
I didn't know what would happen with Ricky that I was playing with. He's been playing so well.
But two pars did it. So obviously very excited and honored and very pleased with the way I played.

Q. I wonder, going back to yesterday, looked like you were going the other way. And a lot of times when this happens in major championships guys just disappear. Can you talk about that stretch and how critical it was for you and how you got it back together?
LUCAS GLOVER: Yesterday? I think I talked about it yesterday. I can't remember exactly.
But the ninth hole in the third round was very important. I had just come off that three-hole stretch where it wasn't looking good. I hit a nice tee ball with the shot I saw in my head and hit a nice 8-iron.
Hit it 20 feet both on line and both were the shots I saw. And I made a 4 there and got back on track, and hit two good shots into 10 and made that putt. So 9 and 10 yesterday were very important for me.
I think 9 was probably the most important.

Q. Did you have any debate either in your mind or with Coop about what club to hit off tee on 18?
LUCAS GLOVER: Yeah, we were set on driver, because it takes all the bunkers out of play. And then we decided kind of last minute that if we hit 6-iron, we would be exactly where we've been the three rounds previously. And we decided to play the hole the way we've been playing it and that was from about 160 to the middle of the green.
And 6-iron, 9-iron, couldn't ask for too much else. So that was -- we talked back and forth about it.

Q. Let me give a couple to you. Number one, could you comment on sort of the atmosphere and the environment and the noise and the hubbub out there with Mickelson and Duval throwing everything at you; you heard some of the roars. And secondly how good does it feel, your first win, you kind of took it at the wire right at the very end. This thing you had it at the end, held on, won it, delivered, and hit all the shots you needed to to get off the course with your scalp; completely different scenario?
LUCAS GLOVER: Well, the crowd was absolutely great. And Phil was a few groups ahead, and you could hear the roars. We knew what was going on. And Duval right in front. I saw it, I could see him and the crowd was really behind him.
But it was great. They were great all week. Loud. But polite at the same time. They cheered a good shot, and moaned a bad shot; didn't boo or anything. So it was a great week with the fans.
And I forgot your second one, I apologize.

Q. Hitting shots down the stretch.
LUCAS GLOVER: Yeah, Disney was catching lightning in a bottle, that bunker shot.
I hit the shots today that I had to hit in the situation, and that was, that might be a little more gratifying. I knew I needed a birdie on 16. Had a good number with an 8-iron. One of the best shots I hit all week was 17. It was right in between clubs, 4- and 5-iron right to left wind. I'm a drawer, and I hit a fade up against the wind that I couldn't have been happier about.
And then 18, I talked a little bit about that, just played long or played past the hole, take short out. Adrenaline was a factor there with club selection. But I hit the right shot.

Q. A lot of us remember how close you were obviously to Dick Harmon; how much did you think about him this week, and what do you think he'd be thinking about what you did today?
LUCAS GLOVER: Probably pretty happy. I got some great texts from the whole Harmon family the last couple of days. So thanks to them.

Q. Looked like you took a moment on 18. Can you talk about your emotions before when you knew you pretty much had this one in the bag but you just had to par out?
LUCAS GLOVER: It was still up in the air. I had four feet, and Ricky had a birdie putt. If he makes that I have curl that in to win.
He had a heck of a putt. Probably should have gone in. It was a great putt. But after that, I had two to get it down for four feet and felt pretty good about it.
But I was still shaking a little bit. That grip wasn't very steady. I can promise you.

Q. Your caddie was talking about how taking time off at the end of last year was a good thing for you, and just wanted to see if you could describe what those couple of years had been. I know you were disappointed you didn't make The Ryder Cup Team; and what's it been like putting it back together and did that time off help you?
LUCAS GLOVER: Absolutely. Obviously I said this before this week: It was the best thing career-wise I've ever done. I hung them up after St. Louis. I knew I had my card for this year. Knew I had a job.
I was not playing well enough to keep playing and feel like I could be happy on the golf course. I was taking it home, and I wasn't myself.
When I finally realized it, I said: That's it. When I get to this number I'm done. And I did. I took six, seven weeks off. I had two outings I had to play, the only two times I played golf.
But that was important, because when I started practicing again, my expectations were lower and I had something set to work on. But that was huge.
And then starting January, I was fresh. And I did some good work in the offseason, so I felt pretty good.

Q. You said outside that down the stretch, you had to keep yourself patient. How does a person do that? And are you generally a patient person?
LUCAS GLOVER: Absolutely not. But I've had to learn that in the last few years. Something I really worked on is, I mean, two years` ago, if yesterday would have happened six, seven and eight, no chance I would be sitting here. No chance.
But I've worked on it. And just my attitude's better. And something bad happens, let it go. I doubled the first hole this week. Didn't slam a club. Didn't do anything. Walked over to the second tee and said: Hey, it's the U.S. Open it's going to be a long week. I wouldn't have done that a couple years ago.
But the back nine today was huge, because I knew I was playing hard. I got 10 out of the way and turned around downwind on 11 and I felt I should have hit a better shot there.
But par on 12, I thought I could make one or two coming in. And I would have had to, or I thought I had to. But a birdie and bogey even par, I was pleased on the back nine on Monday at an Open.

Q. I think your best finishes this year coming into this week were at Torrey, which has held an Open and at Wachovia, which everybody's talked about Quail Hollow maybe having an Open sometime. Did you kind of think: Maybe I'm a U.S. Open type of player, maybe this is my week?
LUCAS GLOVER: Well, before this week, I think it makes me 1-for-4 on cuts made at the Open.
But I've been driving it well. And I think that's why I played well at those two events. And especially this week.
I drove it probably the best I've ever driven it in the first three rounds here. Not so much today. I think nerves had a little effect on my rhythm, and I didn't hit very many shots where I was looking or the shape I was trying to hit them.
But that being said, those two weeks, Torrey and Quail, like you said, were good experiences because they were hard golf courses, but, again, driving it was a key at all three.
And it gave me a little confidence that I had played well on those hard courses.

Q. Can you go through all three shots on 16, especially the second, and the putt? And also what were you hearing from Mickelson's group on 17 or from Duval, when did you know you had a lead of two?
LUCAS GLOVER: I'll answer last question first: I didn't know until 17 tee.
But 16, tee shot's downwind. Touch off the right, which is a good wind for me, because I'm a drawer. I've hit good tee shots every hole on that round. I think I made three birdies on that hole, maybe two, I don't know. Anyway, it suited my eye and it fit my ball flight well. And I hit a good one. And it was the first really solid driver I hit probably since the front nine somewhere.
And I had a good number on 16 there. 173 hole and a little help out of the -- I don't know. I had help out of the left maybe. Maybe the wind was the other way, I don't know. But it was a good number. It was just a full 8-iron smooth driving range and just get it start a little left to the hole.
The putt was all you could ever ask for under pressure. It was straight and downhill. Didn't have to do anything but to get it started. Get it started online and you make it. I did. I think it only moved an inch. But I couldn't ask for much more there.

Q. Will you force Cooper to pay off with the Corvette, and if so, what color?
LUCAS GLOVER: That was his deal. He said when we won again, he'll buy himself one. So we'll see if he comes through or not. He better.

Q. How does somebody from the south become a Yankee fan? And secondly when the nerves are kicking in, how did you stay calm?
LUCAS GLOVER: First, just growing up playing little league, Don Mattingly was my favorite player. And that was kind of it. So I can actually say I liked them when they weren't doing so hot.
Secondly, it was just deep breaths and just fall back on my routine. Pre-shot and pick a good target and just hit it. No swing thoughts under pressure, because there's too much going on. You just pick a target, lock in on it and go. If you hit it there, fine. If you don't, run up there and hit it again.

Q. You said yesterday after your round that you felt like maybe some people out in the gallery or maybe some people on TOUR maybe didn't feel you belonged where you were on the top of the leaderboard. Do you think some people changed their tune after today?
LUCAS GLOVER: I don't know. I didn't. I've never been there. I've never been there in a major. And maybe that was motivation for me to prove it to myself that I did belong.
But it doesn't matter if they do or don't, to me. But I played good. I played good under pressure, and I'm happy with myself.

Q. There weren't a lot of low scores out there today, can you kind of just talk about what a grind it was, the wind seemed to be the most it had been all week and the course not dry, but maybe as dry as it's been?
LUCAS GLOVER: With the exception of 6 and 18, where the tees were up, we got the full value today. Other than 7. 7 they got that 520 tee back there. But that would have been a little much, because it was into the wind. But we got every hole back, but fair: 7 was into; 10 was into; 12 was across, and those are three holes that are all -- well, 7 is 490 and the other two are over 500 yards; 15 into.
So the wind was tough and we had a lot of -- had a lot of 3-, 4- and 5-irons in; and Open on Sunday, you're not going to get those close. So then a lot of putting comes in and the nerves and all of the above. It was just a tough day.
The course is very fair, and it just played hard, bottom line.

Q. You're pretty famously intense and pull your hat down to kind of cover your face and have been pretty brutally hard over yourself over the years. After the time off, did you sort of take a step back and maybe relax a little bit, and maybe not kicking yourself in the pants as much as you used to? Because it seems like the exhale and the decompressions work wonders, if that was the intent?
LUCAS GLOVER: Absolutely, absolutely. That was the point of it, is to get away. Figure out why I got the way I got. And I did. And I was too hard on myself. And just had a bad attitude when it wasn't going right.
And the patience issues and the bad attitude was expectations through the roof and not getting results, but practicing just as hard and not getting any better. That was the frustrating thing. I was working just as hard so getting away and not practicing at all, my expectations get lower.
You know, you've got something new to work on.

Q. I know it might be tough to talk about, but are there things that Dick Harmon taught you that resonated through your head this week, swing thoughts or playing thoughts or anything like that?
LUCAS GLOVER: Yeah. I think about him every day. He always told me I was good enough.

Q. Your caddie was saying that with your ability, he thought this might have happened earlier for you. Had you considered yourself maybe someone who hadn't achieved as much as he could have achieved before this week?
LUCAS GLOVER: My expectations were high for me and for myself. But there's nothing guaranteed in this game. We all know that. But there's early bloomers, there's late bloomers, and there's always bloomers, in Tiger's case.
But I don't know, I've had a nice career. I haven't won many golf tournaments, but I've played well. I've been out here; this is my sixth year on the TOUR and played in a bunch of majors and a bunch of World Golf Championships. And obviously every week you want to win, but nothing's guaranteed.
So maybe this will be the springboard; maybe it will be it. Who knows.

Q. After you made the final putt, we've seen some wild celebrations, even from quiet guys after they make the last one, were you still in your concentration mode, or will you let out at any point?
LUCAS GLOVER: I don't know if I have enough energy to do anything crazy. It was a long and crazy week with the delays and the weather and the back-and-forth to the course and all that.
And that's the first time I've contended in a major. And mentally, I was done. I don't think I could have thought up a good celebration, other than run over there and give my man, Coop, a big hug, and that's just what came natural, I guess.

Q. When you were here in '02, even though you didn't make the cut, did you sense Bethpage might be your kind of course and were you looking forward to coming back?
LUCAS GLOVER: Yeah, absolutely. I knew when I ended up qualifying, I knew what to work on. That was drive it straight, and a lot of long irons. And the course suits my eye. It fits my eye. A lot of the holes, they just look good to me. And you get a golf course like that, you feel like you can play well.
I had a good week of preparation last week after the qualifier, and just came here with a good attitude, and it was my best ball-striking week I've ever had, the first three days especially.
Everything was flush. Today, I mentioned earlier, it wasn't as good. But the first three rounds were as good as I've ever hit the golf ball. And I knocked in a few putts too. So here we are. I couldn't ask for anything better ball-striking wise, but it looks good to me. It suits my eye. I had a good feeling when I got in and was hitting it good.

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