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Glover finds on-course relief from personal turmoil

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DUBLIN, Ohio – Lucas Glover shrugged and offered a placid smile. He wasn’t going to let a bad bounce or a bad read ruin what was otherwise a perfect day at the Memorial.

“I hit two nice shots into 18, a nice chip and a nice putt, tough hole, big deal,” he said of his bogey at the last for a first-round 67 that left him two strokes off the lead at Muirfield Village.

It was quintessential Glover. The guy who won a U.S. Open that never seemed as if it would end isn’t easily flustered. A bogey at the 18th hole, an embarrassing and high-profile run-in with the police earlier this month at The Players, big deal.

Well, the latter is a big deal, at least for Glover and his family, who found themselves in the midst of a media storm following the May 13 arrest of Glover’s wife, Krista, who was charged with domestic battery and resisting arrest without violence.

According to an extremely detailed arrest report, Krista Glover caused multiple lacerations and verbally abused both Hershey Glover, Lucas’ mother, and Lucas. St. Johns County deputies said Krista Glover forcefully tried to separate herself from the arresting deputy and refused to be placed into a patrol car.

Glover told deputies that his wife began berating him for playing poorly at The Players, where he missed the secondary cut on Saturday.

In a statement released by Glover earlier this week, he said, “My family and I are very appreciative of the support that we’ve received. We again ask for the continued respect for our privacy as we work through this process.”

That statement probably would have sufficed had Glover not gone on a birdie tear on the back nine, rolling in 45 feet of birdie putts at Nos. 11, 13, 14 and 15 to temporarily move to within one stroke of the lead.

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There are enough other distractions to fill the news cycle this week, from Tiger Woods’ first start at the Memorial since 2015 to former champion Justin Rose’s stellar play last week at the Fort Worth Invitational.

But Glover’s inspired play quickly changed that.

When asked about he and his wife’s troubles, Glover remained unflappable, explaining in his deep, southern drawl that he’d rather not talk about his private life.

“I'm going to stay away from that stuff,” he said. “I made some statements the last couple weeks. I'm just going to have to refer to that stuff and I would prefer to talk about today, if that's OK.”

Considering the extent of the coverage his encounter earlier this month in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., created, Glover’s reluctance is understandable. What’s not as easily understood is how the three-time PGA Tour winner was able to produce Thursday’s round with the turmoil swirling back home.

Perhaps the golf course and tournament intensity is exactly what he needed, a respite from what is undoubtedly a difficult time in his life.

“Sometimes,” he allowed when asked if the golf course can be a sanctuary. “It's another round, really. I mean, it's nothing different. I've played here a bunch, I've played a lot of golf, and just wanted to play well and have a good attitude. That was the mindset today.”

It’s even more difficult to understand Glover’s play when you consider that it’s rained back home in South Florida 13 out of the last 14 days.

“There is an indoor facility that was available, but there was a line of Tour players to get into it at The Bear's Club,” Glover said. “I got done what I could and I got here with a good mindset and a good swing thought and carried it into the day well.”

In fact, Glover’s focus could be a byproduct of his membership at The Bear’s Club, which is Jack Nickluas’ winter home. Like many of the Tour types who call the club home, Glover is in awe of Nicklaus, who hosts the Memorial and also designed Muirfield Village.

That respect goes beyond the normal reverence given the Golden Bear by the current generation. Asked if he, like many of the other Tour members at the club, have asked Nicklaus for advice, Glover’s answer was telling.

“I haven't, but do I listen a little more when he's around,” he smiled. “I haven't had the nerve to ask him anything yet, but I was with him in 2007 for the Presidents Cup when he was the captain. He's still larger than life to me. So it's more listen and don't say a whole lot.”

Glover took a similar approach on Thursday, opting to not address what happened during The Players, but his actions on and off the course this week spoke volumes.