All-World Friend

By Rex HoggardJune 24, 2009, 4:00 pm
CROMWELL, Conn. ' If a true measure of a man is the company he keeps, Lucas Glover is all-world good people.
 
Just as the 29-year-old with a drawl every bit as deep as a Carolina fishing hole was coming to grips with his new-found Grand Slam glory an extended list of friends were reaching their own epiphanies.
 
What have you done? were the only words Charles Warren could think of when he reached his buddy via cell phone late Monday.
 
Warren and Glover were Clemson teammates, are regular practice round partners and never met a pond that didnt deserve a line and a lure. Asked how nervous he was watching Glover battle for the U.S. Open title Warren flashed 10 finger nails gnawed down to the nub: Two were bleeding, he said of the damage caused by Mondays madness.
 
Lucas Glover
Lucas Glover poses with his wife on top of the Empire State Building.(Getty Images)
Warren, who didnt qualify for the U.S. Open, spent the week fishing and would regularly text Glover pictures of the fish hed caught, jokes, travel plans, anything but golf. In that sense golf is no different than baseball. You never tell a pitcher hes got a no-hitter going in the fourth inning, and you dont talk titles on Saturday ' Sunday or Monday for that matter ' at a major championship.
 
Its what friends do. Theyre there for you when things are bad, like late last year when Glover was done with the game and needed a break, and when the going is good, like Wednesday at TPC River Highlands when Glover was doling out more hugs than Dr. Phil.
 
It sunk in a little more on the range when a lot of guys came up to shake hands and say their peace, Glover said. It was wonderful. It was very gratifying.
 
Brandt Snedeker, another close friend, didnt wait until Wednesday, firing Glover a text on Monday that read simply, Youre my hero.
 
Friendships among athletes are strange things. On the field of play they would just as well gut each other with a 3-iron but when the scorecards are signed there is no one else that can sympathize with a struggling player better than another player. Theyve all been there. Theyve all flushed the ball for 18 holes and signed for 75. Theyve all spent eight hours on the practice tee only to block their first tee ball into the right rough.
 
I was way more nervous for him than I would ever be playing in that situation myself, Snedeker said. I was lying in my bed all morning yelling at the TV. I think someone probably called to complain about the noise.
 
Mac Barnhardt, Glovers manager and friend with Crown Sports, figures his man received no less than 300 text messages. Some were funny, most to the point, all were sincere.
 
You think Snedes (Snedeker) will play with you now? Johnson Wagner texted late Monday. Im in tears Im so happy for you.
 
There is joy every time a player wins a major championship, part of the territory. Glovers Bethpage breakthrough, however, went deeper because there is not a kinder more generous person on Tour.
 
Zach Johnson, who played a practice round with Glover last Tuesday and was on the business end of similar love when he won the 2007 Masters, played it cool when he saw Glover Wednesday at River Highlands.
 
How ya been? Anything good happen?' Johnson deadpanned before the two broke into laughter.
 
Its not so much that Glover won a major, hed been on the Grand Slam watch list ever since he won at Disney four years ago, as much as it was which major he decided to take the plunge.
 
Glover is not the most patient person, says so himself. He plays fast and hits it long, a bad combination on a tour full of snails. Truth is, when he called it a year after last falls BMW Championship he was anything but a picture of Zen.
 
I played with him last year in St. Louis (BMW) and, man, he wasnt happy, Wagner recalled. Thats the amazing thing because at that Open it would have been so easy to give up and he just refused to.
 
All of which makes a Bethpage victory all the more intriguing. For five sloppy days of shuttle rides and mud balls and weather warnings Glover wore the face of a man on his way to nowhere in particular. He may have been melting down inside, but the guy who wandered about the Black Course was not the same guy who used to get the first tee time in college events because putting him behind someone was asking for trouble.
 
It just shows how much hes grown up, Warren said. If you pick a major for him to win, between the golf course and the rain and the delays, that would have been the last place youd expect him to win.
 
The general media seems to have the same take on Glover. Google Lucas Glover and long shot and 57,000 matches pop up, the byproduct of Tiger Woods dominance and a shrinking news hole it seems.
 
But those closest to Glover ' or G. Lover, as he joked on the David Letterman show Tuesday ' know better: The guy just doesnt miss many shots. Hes No. 1 in total driving for a reason, Johnson said.
 
How Glover will deal with his new-found fame was also a topic of interest on Wednesday and the consensus from those who are closets to him was that big timing is not in the mans DNA.
 
Hes not going to change, said Johnson, who famously remained Zach Johnson from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, after collecting that green jacket. Wouldnt know how to.
 
And if he did, his friends would let him have it. Its what friends do.
 
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