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July 8, 2009
MARK STEVENS: We'd like to welcome Lucas Glover to the interview room here at the 2009 John Deere Classic. Lucas, obviously your world has kind of, for all the right reasons, all the good reasons, been crazy for the past few weeks, having won the U.S. Open. We know the number of requests for your time have just been obviously through the roof, but you've stayed committed to the tournaments you had committed to, you stayed committed to doing all the handling requests, and yet you're still playing some incredible golf. Just talk a little bit about how you find that balance and how you're making it work since that U.S. Open win.
LUCAS GLOVER: I think it's just riding the wave of, kind of, confidence. Just played well that week obviously to win, and then just kind of tried to do the same stuff in Hartford and D.C., and I tried to hit a lot of fairways and I'm putting well and making a lot of birdies. Good offense and play a little defense and you're usually going to play pretty well. That's kind of been the case the last couple weeks, a lot of birdies and then just trying to limit mistakes.
With the soft conditions we had at the Open, it was kind of the same game plan.
DOUG MILNE: I mean, I've obviously known you for a long time, and the win, while it really took you to that next level, it hasn't changed you as a person. You're still, Yes, ma'am, no, ma'am, that kind of thing. It really hasn't changed you and you've stayed that level-headed. Is it even a question as to whether or not you would have changed or whether this outrageous number of media requests would have --
LUCAS GLOVER: You know, I think the answer to that -- I've been asked that a lot, and I think the answer hit me yesterday, and it was we go out every week to win a golf tournament, or you set a goal to win a major, and just because you reach a goal, it doesn't change anything. It was like when you were a kid and you said, I want to take the training wheels off and be able to ride on two wheels; that was a goal as a kid, and you did that. And it didn't change you, it just meant you could ride your bike on two wheels.
That being said, it doesn't mean anything different other than I get to play in some cool tournaments the next five years, more so than I have the last three or four. I don't see any point in being any different. Definitely not going to change personality or attitude or anything like that. My schedule will be different and I'll be busy for a little while, but I'm not going to be a different guy. I just don't see the point in that.
Q. I've talked to you since you won Disney a few years back. Congratulations. I cover some boxing, and the one thing I've noticed over the years is if a guy wins a title he can hold it for one month and lose it, but for the rest of his life when he walks into a gym or an arena everyone calls him champ. Wherever you go from now on you're going to be former U.S. Open champion Lucas Glover, so you're stuck. What are your thoughts about that?
LUCAS GLOVER: Pretty cool. To be announced like that on the first tee for the next year, that's not bad. It's an honor, and very gratifying to be on that list. It's pretty cool. You think about it as a kid and dream about it, and it happened, so I'm going to enjoy it.
Q. I've read something that you read like four books the week you won the U.S. Open. I'm just wondering how you find time to play golf and read that many books, but also, are you reading anything in particular this week?
LUCAS GLOVER: Well, in regard to time, we had a lot of time off that week. I didn't hit a shot Thursday. Went out to the golf course for a couple hours, so I had literally all day, and then five holes Saturday, so I had all day. I'm not reading "Atlas Shrugged" or anything, I'm reading 350-page murder mystery novels that all of us could read in a day, and I'm not exaggerating. This week, I picked up Patterson's new one yesterday and Greg Iles' new one yesterday. So I'll get through those and save one for the plane trip, and then I'm having a couple shipped in from the house that I ordered on line a couple weeks ago, so we'll have plenty of entertainment for a couple weeks.
Q. Is that kind of an escape for you, to get your mind completely off golf and everything, to get it to dive into a book like that?
LUCAS GLOVER: Yeah, it is. If I had a choice of anything I could do in my spare time, I like to fish, I love to fish when the weather is good and all that during the day. But on the road you don't have that opportunity all the time. So in the last two or three years, reading has kind of been my escape.
I don't watch a lot of TV unless sports are on. I'm not a reality TV guy and that's about all that's on anymore. So I read.
A lot of the books I read aren't anything -- like I said, it's almost like watching a TV show. It's just something to take my mind off of golf and get my mind on something else, and you kind of get wrapped up in the story and the characters, and it's fun. A lot of us read the same stuff, we give each other ideas. Brian Bateman and I go back and forth about authors and books so we always have something to talk about. It's just something else to do, yeah. It's a good escape.
Q. Was the jet a factor in your decision to come and play here?
LUCAS GLOVER: No, I played here a couple years ago without the jet. I like it here. Kym Hougham was the tournament director before Clair and gave me a spot early on, and I think I've only missed once in my career on TOUR after that. I like the golf course, love the area, like the fans. Clair has been good to me.
The jet is just an extra perk. I think that was a brilliant move by John Deere and by Clair to try to boost their field because they're kind of strapped with their date, and it was a nice addition, and they're doing it the right way with the charity involvement and with the plane.
You know, if it worked out schedule-wise, I'd come regardless, but obviously that helps.
Q. Speaking of your schedule, you're talking about your schedule changing on down the road now that you're a major winner. What do you do with an event like this? Does it stay on your schedule in the future or is it something you have to see year to year?
LUCAS GLOVER: I can't say now. Obviously I'd like to be here, but if it's at the back side of six in a row, five of which I have to play, I might have to think about it. But we've got sponsors coming up and stuff is going to be shuffled around because of the economy and this and that. So it's tough to say about a tournament right before a major.
I like to play into a major. U.S. Open I didn't have that choice because of the qualifier and all that. The couple years I've played in the Masters, I'll always play Houston before.
But again, I like it here, I like the course, and if I'm able to, without doing anything ridiculous, six, seven, eight in a row, I'd like to be able to come back.
Q. Talk about this week. You talked about a lot of offense and a little defense. What's the approach this week on this course?
LUCAS GLOVER: I think as good a shape as the golf course is in, the greens aren't super, super fast yet. And they could be, but with the rain we had today, there's going to be a lot of birdies the next couple days unless we get some serious wind.
I'm early in the morning. Usually the wind doesn't kick up here until around lunch traditionally. It could be different. I might have just jinxed the whole morning wave (laughter), but I think there will be a lot of birdies the next couple days. If we get any dry weather they'll get the greens sped up and firmed then, then it could play a little tougher.
But I only played nine this morning and took yesterday off, so I've only seen nine holes. But the course is perfect. It's in perfect shape. The rough isn't hideous like some places. But it's a penalty. You've got to catch a lie to get it up on the green with a mid-iron, but we can -- a wedge shot you can get on the green and stuff like that.
You know, it's a good test with some wind. Unfortunately as soft as it is, if we don't have any wind, scores are going to be very low.
Q. I understand Zach Johnson gave you a little advice, and one of the things he told you after winning the Open is to get out and play. Is that accurate?
LUCAS GLOVER: It is. He was one of the first people I saw in Hartford on Wednesday morning, and he just came over and said, Congrats, and he said, Looks like you're playing. I said, Yeah. He said, That's a good move. That's the only sense of normalcy you'll have for a while.
And he's right. Everything is totally different until I tee off on the first hole. You know, I had planned on being here and there and D.C., so that didn't change anything. But he was just saying the only thing normal in your life right now is going to be in between the ropes, and he was right.
Q. You're going to be playing in front of larger galleries than you previously have. Is that enjoyable, and is that something to look forward to? Does it affect you at all to know that more people are going to be following you as you're out there playing?
LUCAS GLOVER: Well, I was with Tiger Thursday and Friday at AT&T last week, and other than the Open, that's probably the most people I've ever played in front of. I was proud I handled it well.
You know, you're out here long enough, it becomes -- you become kind of -- you get a little tunnel vision. You don't really see anybody unless they're doing something crazy behind you or right behind the hole or something. You learn to block it out.
I might have to learn a little more if the galleries do increase in my group or whatever. But I did a pretty good job of it last week, and that's about as hectic as it could ever get. You know, it's something to be learned, but I think I've done well with it.
Q. What is it about this course that you like when you're here and when you're playing well?
LUCAS GLOVER: I think any guy on TOUR will tell you if a lot of holes suit your eye that you feel like you can play well. A lot of holes, I like the way they look. Right when I walk up on the tee, I'll say, I like the way this hole looks. That's where guys make their schedule or whatever, do I like the course, does it fit my eye. You hear that a lot. And this course does. There's a lot of curved tee shots. You've got to move your ball both ways off the tee a little bit, and then there's some short holes you've got to fit it in and hit it the right distance.
I grew up on bent greens, and these greens are a lot like home. So a lot of things.
Q. Outside of the golf course, what have the last three weeks been like for you?
LUCAS GLOVER: Wow. You know, I haven't been reading as much. You know, just pretty normal stuff. I've had to return some phone calls and emails and texts a little more than usual. But that's fine. That's just keeping it tough for friends and family.
But pretty normal. I go out with my buddies and have dinner and hang out. We had a -- a few of us had a nice dinner last night. I'm not holed up in the room or anything because I want to go out. I'm just trying to be the same. You know, I'm not trying to put effort into being the same, I'm just doing the same stuff, going out to dinner and hanging out with my friends and just having a good time. When my wife is traveling, we go out with other couples, and just the same old stuff.
Q. Has the recognition been noticeably different when you're in public?
LUCAS GLOVER: A little. A little. It's not like Tiger Woods walking into a bar or anything. You know, every now and again somebody will come up and say, Congrats, not bothersome or prying, just, Hey, appreciate it, sorry to interrupt, and it's nice. It's great. Yeah, a few times.
Q. You talked about the rough, and that makes me wonder, have you guys started to prepare for the V-grooves? Are you practicing with those kind of clubs?
LUCAS GLOVER: I think probably 75 percent of the guys have been to their respective club company's test site or had clubs brought out from the TOUR van or whatever just to see. Nike's golf headquarters are in Ft. Worth, so the week of Colonial I went over and tested wedges and hit some irons with the V-grooves that are similar to what I'm hitting now, head-wise, and I think, yeah, guys are starting to move forward with the process of preparing for change.
It's going to be different, but we'll see.
Q. How do you feel about that change? Was it necessary? Do you guys resent the fact that it's coming from the USGA and not from the PGA TOUR? Is that a sticky question?
LUCAS GLOVER: Yeah, I'm going to say no comment on that one. Sorry.
Q. Do you feel the sense of pride this area has in having this tournament and having the U.S. Open champion here? Do you feel how much you mean to come to an area like this?
LUCAS GLOVER: Yeah, I've had a lot of people come up and thank me, and I don't understand that. John Deere is putting on a tournament. It's on the PGA TOUR's schedule, and I play the TOUR, so I'm here because of them. I've had eight or nine people come up to me this morning, thanks for being here; it's great. I should be thanking you guys, or the volunteers and the John Deere people, and I've tried to. But yeah, it's been nice. It's been a nice greeting.
Q. You were talking about maybe the not-so-normal time since the U.S. Open. What's been some of the best not-normal things and maybe what has not been so great about the not-normal things?
LUCAS GLOVER: You know, I've just gotten a lot of phone calls, a lot of texts, a lot of emails from a variety of people. Some of them pretty cool.
But at the same time there sure are a lot of them, or have been.
DOUG MILNE: Lucas, as always, we appreciate your time. We know that there's a huge number of requests, and we appreciate you taking some time with us.
LUCAS GLOVER: Not a problem. Thank you, everybody.
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