Lucas Glover laid-back mindset is key to success

By Randall MellAugust 14, 2009, 4:00 pm
2009 PGA ChampionshipCHASKA, Minn. ' Its a reach to say Lucas Glover forgot he was playing in a major championship Friday at Hazeltine National Golf Club, but he was trying.
 
Just trying to play like its Tuesday, or play like Im home, or playing with my buddies, because I do play better that way, Glover said.
 
Glover, winner of his first major at the U.S. Open in June, put himself in good position to claim the PGA Championship as his second major with a 2-under-par 70 in the second round. He got himself in the weekend hunt, four back of 36-hole leader Tiger Woods, in a most unusual fashion given he was playing under major championship conditions.
 
Lucas Glover PGA Championship
Lucas Glover smiles after nailing a birdie putt at 18th during the second round of the 91st PGA Championship. (Getty Images)
Goofed off a little bit, Glover said.
 
Stewart Cink, winner of the British Open, says Glover has long been one of the best players on the PGA Tour on Tuesdays, in practice rounds when tournaments begin. Glovers learning to take the same frame of mind into tournament play.
 
Its been a conscious effort just to say, `Hey, relax, its really not that big a deal, and just go play golf, Glover said.
 
Glover says he has received help doing that from sports psychologist Morris Pickens, but theres no secret in their work.
 
Im not doing any deep breathing or anything like that, Glover said. Maybe its just not taking things so seriously, a bad shot, or a lip out, or anything like that.
 
Relaxing as if he were playing with buddies would seem a difficult task in the first two rounds of the PGA Championship. Glover, after all, was paired with Cink and Angel Cabrera in a grouping of the years reigning major championship winners. Every time Glover looked up, he was reminded he was in a major, but he found it easy to forget anyway.
 
Stewart and Angel and I play a lot together, so were pretty good buddies, Glover said. We had fun.
 
Part of the fun is that Glover says hes feeling no pressure to follow up his U.S. Open title by winning another major.
 
I dont think I have to validate anything, said Glover, whose two PGA Tour titles include the 2005 Funai Classic at Disney World. Ive been out here six years and had a pretty good career. It would just be nice to win another one. Im not looking to prove anything to anybody.
 
Glover, 29, outplayed his fellow major championship winners over the first two rounds. At 3 under, he is five shots better than Cabrera and Cink over the first two rounds.
 
With conditions growing more difficult in blustery winds Friday, Glovers ball striking wasnt as sharp statistically as it was in the first round, but he scored better. He has made 10 birdies over two days. He hit three fewer fairways and two fewer greens Friday but was a shot better on his scorecard.
 
Glover can still feel the momentum he got from his U.S. Open victory.
 
Just a sense that I could do it, Glover said. You know, pretty high pressure that week and I performed and that was very comforting. Just gives you a little bit of a confidence boost, that I performed under the gun and thats a good feeling.
 
In three PGA Championship starts, Glover has never finished better than a tie for 46th. Thats OK. He never made a cut at the U.S. Open (0 for 2) until he won this year.
 
Pretty similar mindset, Glover said of how his weekend approach will compare to when he won the U.S. Open. Just put myself in good position and see what happens.
 
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    Fleetwood flawless en route to Abu Dhabi lead

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 2:06 pm

    New year, same results for Tommy Fleetwood.

    The reigning Race to Dubai champ picked up where he left off in the opening round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, carding a bogey-free 66 during which the Englishman found all 18 greens in regulation. At 6 under, he shares the lead with Japan's Hideto Tanihara and sits one shot clear of five other players.

    "Very stress-free. Played really well from start to finish," Fleetwood said. "Felt like I did what you need to do around this golf course, which is drive it well, hit your irons solid. You can't really be too greedy a lot of the time, and then sort of my pace putting was really good. So basically just did what you need to do to get a good score around this golf course, and I got one."


    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


    Fleetwood shined in a marquee grouping that included world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy, as he birdied three holes on each nine. This is his first worldwide start since a T-3 finish at the Hero World Challenge.

    It was at this event a year ago that Fleetwood sparked a career campaign, edging Johnson and Pablo Larrazabal for the win. He added another win at the French Open in the summer to go along with a pair of runner-up results and a T-4 finish at the U.S. Open, all of which helped him capture the European Tour's season-long title.

    Fleetwood's sudden success in Abu Dhabi serves as a microcosm for his career resurgence. Prior to last year's victory, he had missed the cut in four of his five other trips to this event.

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    Sergio starts season with 66 in Singapore

    By Associated PressJanuary 18, 2018, 12:56 pm

    SINGAPORE – Sergio Garcia opened his season with a 5-under 66 and a share of the clubhouse lead on Thursday in the first round of the weather-interrupted Singapore Open.

    Playing his first tournament of the year, the Masters champion rebounded after making an early bogey to collect four birdies and an eagle at the Sentosa Golf Club.

    He was later joined by American qualifier Kurt Kitayama in the clubhouse lead. Still on the course, Tirawat Kaewsiribandit was at 6 under through 16 holes when play was suspended for the day because of the threat of lightning.

    Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 Open champion, was at 5 under through 16 holes when he also had to stop his round because of the weather.

    Of the players who did finish their opening rounds, only three were within two strokes of Garcia and Kitayama. One of them was Casey O'Toole, who aced the par-3 second with a 7-iron.



    The 38-year-old Garcia dropped his only shot of the day on the par-4 15th, his sixth hole after teeing off on the back nine, when he missed the fairway and was unable to make par. But he made amends when he birdied the par-3 17th and then eagled the par-5 18th to go out in 33.

    ''I was 1 over after (the) seventh but it didn't feel like I was playing badly,'' said Garcia, who made birdies on each of the two par 5s and one of the par 3s on the second nine. ''But then I hit two greats in a row for holes 17 and 18. I got a birdie-eagle there, so that settled me a little bit and I could play solid in the back nine and it was a great round.''

    Garcia made the shortlist for the Laureus Sports Awards in the Breakthrough of the Year category after claiming his first major at Augusta National last year and is hoping for more success this season.

    He credits the Singapore Open as having played a part in toughening him up for his Masters win because he opted to start his 2017 campaign in the stifling humidity of Southeast Asia to prepare himself for the bigger tournaments ahead.

    Although he finished tied for 11th in Singapore, Garcia won the Dubai Desert Classic the next week and was in peak form when he won the Masters two months later.

    Kitayama only secured his place in the $1 million event on Monday by finishing at the top of the qualifying competition, but he made a strong start with birdies on three of his first five holes. The 25-year-old Thai was 6 under through 13 holes but spoiled his otherwise flawless round with a bogey on his last.

    ''I started with a birdie and I just let it roll from there. I had some good tee shots, which I think, is the biggest thing for this course,'' Kitayama said. ''I'm a little tired, but I'm hanging in there. Whenever I have time off, I'll try not to think too much about golf.''

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    13-year-old beats DJ in closest-to-the-pin contest

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:26 pm

    Dustin Johnson didn’t just get beat by Tommy Fleetwood and Rory McIlroy on Day 1 of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    Even a 13-year-old got the best of the world No. 1.

    Oscar Murphy teed off on the 177-yard 15th hole as part of the tournament’s Beat the Pro challenge during the opening round. The Northern Irishman, one of the HSBC’s Future Falcons, carved a 3-wood toward a back-right pin, about 25 feet away, closer than both Johnson and Fleetwood.

    “An unbelievable shot,” Fleetwood said afterward, “and me and Rory both said, ‘We don’t have that in our locker.’”



    Johnson still made par on the hole, but he mixed four birdies with four bogeys Thursday for an even-par 72 that left him six shots back of Fleetwood and Hideto Tanihara after the opening round.

    Johnson, who tied for second here a year ago, is coming off a dominant performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, where he won by eight shots to strengthen his lead atop the world rankings. 

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    McIlroy 'really pleased' with opening 69 in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:10 pm

    It was an auspicious 2018 debut for Rory McIlroy.

    Playing alongside world No. 1 Dustin Johnson for his first round since October, McIlroy missed only one green and shot a bogey-free 69 at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. McIlroy is three shots back of reigning Race to Dubai champion Tommy Fleetwood, who played in the same group as McIlroy and Johnson, and Hideto Tanihara.

    Starting on the back nine at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, McIlroy began with 11 consecutive pars before birdies on Nos. 3, 7 and 8.


    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


    “I was excited to get going,” he told reporters afterward. “The last couple of months have been really nice in terms of being able to concentrate on things I needed to work on in my game and health-wise. I feel like I’m the most prepared for a season that I’ve ever been, but it was nice to get back out there.”

    Fleetwood, the defending champion, raced out to another lead while McIlroy and Johnson, who shot 72, just tried to keep pace.

    “Tommy played very well and I was just trying to hang onto his coattails for most of the round, so really pleased – bogey-free 69, I can’t really complain,” McIlroy said.

    This was his first competitive round in more than three months, since a tie for 63rd at the Dunhill Links. He is outside the top 10 in the world ranking for the first time since 2014.