FedEx St. Jude Championship

In TPC Southwind's scorching conditions, no one is hotter than leader Lucas Glover

August 11, 2023

Lucas Glover watches his shot on the 10th hole during the second round of the FedEx St. Jude Championship.

Gregory Shamus

MEMPHIS — This Lucas Glover fellow is hot. Riding the wave hot. Hitting on all cylinders hot. Maybe U.S. Ryder Cup captain Zach Johnson should take a look at him hot.

On a steamy day in the city known as the “Home of the Blues,” Glover was red-hot, a carryover from his impressive victory last weekend at the Wyndham Championship. His bogey-free six-under 64 at TPC Southwind was the low round of the day and propelled him to the 36-hole lead in the FedEx St. Jude Championship by one over Jordan Spieth at 10-under 130.

Glover’s last six rounds have been 66-64-62-68-66-64. He has posted 20 consecutive rounds of par or better. In his last five starts, Glover has had four finishes of sixth or better (the other was a missed cut at the 3M Open) as he’s progressed from a 43-year-old veteran with a glitchy putting stroke who resided outside the top 150 on the FedEx Cup points to a very confident golfer making a serious bid for the FedEx Cup title.

When he switched to a long putter at the Memorial Tournament, Glover was 184th on the FedEx Cup points list. His run to the Wyndham title made him one of the more unlikely participants to reach the top 70 and a postseason berth. If he were to win again this week—and, granted, he’s only halfway home with 13 players within three shots of his pace—he’d advance to the second stage at the BMW Championship in third place in the standings.

He came into the week 49th. At Wyndham, he was 112th.

The 2009 U.S. Open champion can’t remember a time he has ever played better. “But I'm old enough,” he said, “to know it can change the other way in a hurry, too, so kind of ride the wave and just don't overthink it, keep going, and play until it runs out and then figure it out after that.”

More than once he said he was going to keep “riding the wave” and “not overthink it,” and, really, what else is a guy supposed to say when he has finally conquered the yips and is now a very troublesome interloper on the playoff scene.

But it’s not just the putter that has Glover humming along. He only ranks 36th in strokes gained in that category through two rounds. But he is first in strokes gained/approach the green at plus-5.675 and first in proximity to the hole with a cumulative average of 21 feet, nine inches.

“I’m executing pretty much what I'm seeing,” said the South Carolina native. “Don't overthink it and no need to change anything, just keep riding it.”

See, there he goes again.

But we really can’t blame him. As Glover explained, “This game is cruel, man. You can play nice and just get cruddy results, and then you can kind of hit it bad and get a couple good breaks and get some good results.”

In other words, don’t take things for granted. Glover is 0-for-9 in converting a 36-hole lead into a victory. So, there’s that.

Earlier in the day, tour player Michael Kim tweeted on X (formerly Twitter), “Uhhh, Lucas Glover for Ryder Cup?”

Glover hadn’t seen it. “That’s very nice of him to say.”

But, seriously, don’t you want the hot hand on your side? Glover is so hot that he didn’t mind how hot it was as the heat index soared to 119 degrees, though he did sweat a little. “I didn't get this wet in the shower this morning,” he quipped.

“The hotter the better. I'm old,” he later added.

The hotter the better is right.