x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

No hollow talk from Lucas Glover

Golfer looks on the positive side as he gets ready to defend his Wells Fargo Championship title after an injury-marred first half of 2012.

Lucas Glover expects to mount a strong title defence at Wells Fargo Championship. Chris Graythen / Getty Images
Lucas Glover expects to mount a strong title defence at Wells Fargo Championship. Chris Graythen / Getty Images

Lucas Glover has already been through a lot this year, even if the calendar shows the first week in May.

He injured his left knee when he slipped off a paddle board in the Pacific Ocean the weekend before the season-opener in Kapalua in Hawaii, and it wound up keeping him out of golf until the middle of March.

Then, he suffered a rib injury at the Masters, but played through it the next week at Hilton Head, the only PGA Tour event in his native South Carolina.

He is the defending champion at the Wells Fargo Championship at the Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, North Carolina. It will be only his sixth tournament this year.

"I think any time you come somewhere you've had success, it gives you that little bit of confidence - even if it's been a strange year for you," he said.

Strange, indeed.

The paddle board incident was a fluke fall, and Glover did not grasp how serious it was. He went to the practice range the next week in Honolulu thinking he might be able to play and walk on a flat golf course. He did not realise he would be out for two months.

More peculiar was the rib injury. He said he pulled an intercostal muscle on his left side.

"If it had been any other week but Augusta, I don't think I would have played," he said. "But it's pretty hard to withdraw from that one, so I played through it, and just got it fixed and feel pretty good."

Glover said he feels as good as he has since he paddled out to the ocean the weekend before Kapalua. He has made three cuts, although his best finish was last week in New Orleans when he tied for 66th. Even so, he expects to make a strong title defence at Quail Hollow.

"You guys wrote about Freddie [Couples] at Augusta, you expect him to drive through those gates and play well and he loves it there," Glover said.

"And that's how I am here. I was here last Sunday and played with some friends, and it was probably the best round I've played all year.

"And I know it was practice, and I know it doesn't matter and nobody cares, but just being here, there's something about it for me."

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