Lucas Glover -- U.S. Open Champion
PGA Grand Slam of Golf Appearance(s): 2009
Major Championship Wins: 2009 U.S. Open
Worldwide Victories: 3
Height: 6' 2"
Birthdate: Nov. 12, 1979
Birthplace: Greenville, S.C.
Residence: Greenville, S.C.
Family: Wife, Jennifer
Special Interests: Music, fishing
Turned Professional: 2001
By Bob Denney, The PGA of America
Lucas Glover is a literary "junkie" who spurned college reading but always passed his tests by cramming with crib notes.
Today, he thrives in a digital, software-gone-wild world by whizzing through the classics, a thriller or a non-fiction best-seller at his own page-turning pace.
This first-time major champion also proved that he can tune in and focus when all others in the field are losing their wits in the cauldron of a U.S. Open. Glover later revealed that he read four novels, including Clive Cussler's Sacred Stone, during his week at the Open.
Born in Greenville, S.C., Glover had the foundations of success at an early age while a child of a broken home. His grandfather, Dick Hendley, a former Clemson University football player, helped raise him.
Years later, Glover would attend Clemson, graduate in communication studies in 2005, and join Hendley as the only grandfather-grandson combination to be enshrined in the university's athletic Hall of Fame.
When Glover won the U.S. Open this past June at Bethpage Black Golf Course in Farmingdale, N.Y. Closing with a birdie at 16 and two solid pars, he didn't show elation.
He was tired, he says, and after he hugged his caddie, Don Cooper, he remembered what his grandfather had said about "class."
"Act like you've been there," Glover said.
In fact, the cool, calm exterior of Glover was accentuated when he was a guest on ESPN Radio's Mike & Mike in the Morning soon after his Open triumph.
When asked about his major championship as being a "pretty big deal" in his life, Glover responded, matter-of-factly, "Actually, it was a good career move."
Glover learned much about his own skills and capabilities with a golf club through the support of his grandfather, who had flown him at age 12 to Houston to meet the late Dick Harmon, one of the country's premier instructors who died of complications of pneumonia in February 2006. Harmon and Glover grew very close, almost like a surrogate father and son.
Glover became a three-time High School All-American at Wade Hampton High School, won the South Carolina State High School championship as a freshman and sophomore and finished as the runner up as a junior and senior. He was an All-State selection all four years of high school.
He attended Clemson University from 1998 to 2001, and was named first-team All-America in 2000 and 2001. He competed on the 2001 United States Walker Cup team and the 1999 USA vs. Japan Cup Team. He won three college tournaments and also captured the South Carolina Amateur from 1998-2000 and the 2001 Sunnehanna Amateur.
Glover turned professional in 2001 after graduating from Clemson. He joined the Nationwide Tour in 2002, and went to PGA Tour Qualifying School for the first time where he finished tied for 39th -- not good enough to earn his tour card.
He enjoyed a breakthrough year in 2003 on the Nationwide Tour, making 17 of 26 cuts. In his rookie seasons on tour, Glover made 17 of 30 cuts while recording two top-10s and five top-25s. He regained his Tour card for 2005, picking up his first PGA Tour victory at the FUNAI Classic at the Walt Disney World Resort -- after holing a 35-yard bunker shot on the 18th hole for birdie to avoid a playoff with Tom Pernice Jr.
Despite not winning an event in 2006 and 2007, Glover played well on tour by making 45 of 60 cuts, earning five top-10 finishes and being selected for the 2007 Presidents Cup. After a summer of poor performances in 2008, Glover took off four months and developed his patience.
Returning to competition in February, Glover finished in a tie for third at the Buick Invitational. Then in May he finished shared runner-up at the Quail Hollow Championship. As the U.S. Open approached, Glover was at peace with himself and his game.
He opened the Open with a double bogey, yet stunned the golf world. On his march to victory, Glover doused the hopes of final-round challengers Phil Mickelson, David Duval and Ricky Barnes. Glover accomplished the improbable mission despite never having made a cut in three previous Opens.
Stepping to the 16th tee in the final round, Glover was 4 over for the day without a birdie. He hit his approach shot to within 6 feet of the hole and made the putt to take a lead he would not relinquish. After sinking a three-foot par putt on 18, Glover eased home for a two-stroke victory.
The U.S. Open Champion didn't forget his commitments. Though exhausted, he honored promises to compete through a month of Tour stops as well as corporate and charity events before traveling to the British Open.
Returning home to Greenville on July 26, Glover was honored at Fluor Field, home of the minor league Greenville Braves. It was Lucas Glover Day. In the audience was Dick Harmon's widow, Nancy, along with Billy and Craig Harmon, two of Dick's brothers and surviving members of a family that has delivered some of golf's finest teachers.
Glover's celebration had come full circle, and those he loved and respected in the stands got the impression that the city's favorite son would likely return again recharged.