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Lucas Glover’s historic PGA Tour journey: From Clemson alumnus to record-breaking success

Clemson, Courtesy
While golfing at Clemson in the 90s, Lucas Glover Glover won three collegiate tournaments, three South Carolina Amateur titles and was a part of the Walker Cup team in 2001.

Lucas Glover, a name etched in the record books of Clemson University and synonymous with excellence in the world of professional golf, has made his mark in sport’s history through an inspiring and enduring journey. From the greens of collegiate golf to the grand stages of major championships, Glover’s career has been a rollercoaster of triumphs and tribulations.

As a Greenville, South Carolina native, Glover’s golf journey began at an early age. He honed his skills at Wade Hampton High School, where he was a three-time high school All-American and earned two state championships.

Glover then brought his talents to Clemson University in 1998, where he won three collegiate tournaments, three South Carolina Amateur titles and was a part of the Walker Cup team in 2001. This earned him two first-team All-American honors and set the stage for a promising professional career.

Glover turned professional in 2001 and earned his tour card in 2004. After a rocky rookie season, he quickly made his presence felt on the PGA Tour in 2005 when he secured his first victory at the Funai Classic at Walt Disney World Resort. This breakthrough win marked the beginning of a successful professional career.

Glover’s career reached its zenith in the 2009 U.S. Open held at the historic Bethpage Black Course in Farmingdale, New York. Facing fierce competition such as Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and many other legends of the sport, Glover also had to battle the persistent rain, which added an extra layer of difficulty to an already-demanding course. Glover displayed remarkable composure throughout the week in order to clinch his first major championship title, making him a household name in the golfing world.

Career challenges

While Glover enjoyed significant success in his early years, a lingering knee injury that started in 2012 left him fighting for his tour card in the Tour finals at the end of the 2015 season. A 14th-place finish would secure his tour card for the following year but didn’t cure the troubles with his putter. Glover suffered from a condition that affects golfers known as the yips, which are involuntary wrist spasms that caused his putter to quickly fall to one of the worst on tour. However, Glover’s determination and love for the game kept him going throughout these difficult times.

The return to victory

After a dry spell spanning a decade on the tour, Glover staged a triumphant comeback to get back to the top. Sitting at 112th in the FedEx Cup standings, Glover faced an uphill battle to qualify for the playoffs, needing a first- or second-place finish to secure his spot. Glover rose to the occasion, winning the Wyndham Championship this August, and notably, his improved putting played a pivotal role in this success, propelling him into the FedEx Cup playoffs.

Glover’s remarkable resurgence didn’t conclude with the Wyndham Championship.

When he arrived at the FedEx St. Jude Championship he clinched the win by sinking three crucial long putts on the back nine, positioning himself for a playoff showdown against Patrick Cantlay and ultimately securing his second consecutive victory. This extraordinary run not only made history but also propelled Glover from 112th place in the standings just two weeks earlier to a remarkable 4th place going into the BMW Championship.

Although the hot streak tapered off slightly in the last two tournaments of the season, Lucas Glover’s exceptional performance saw him finish at an impressive 18th in the FedExCup standings. This remarkable 94-place surge brought him back into the spotlight of the golf realm and firmly established himself as an extremely accomplished tour player.

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About the Contributor
Toby Corriston, Asst. Photo Editor
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