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Sweaty Lucas Glover is a fan-friendly hero

Lucas Glover scores a victory in Memphis.  (Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Lucas Glover scores a victory in Memphis. (Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The text came from a friend shortly after 7:30 p.m. Eastern Sunday, a brief comment on the progress of the FedEx St. Jude: “I feel Glover should be allowed to change my pants.”

Lucas Glover was struggling. Not with his golf—he was, at that moment, tied for the lead in the tournament, first round of the FedEx Cup qualifiers—but with his aesthetic. Poor Lucas was sweating in the Memphis heat, sweating so much that unfortunate huge spots had formed all over his khaki pants, front and back.

While fellow competitors like Rory McIlroy and Colin Morikawa looked dapper and comfortable in the stifling humidity, the sweaty, weary 43-year-old Glover looked…well, he looked just like us. Who hasn’t felt a cold sweat at a crucial moment, wondering if they have what it takes to move on? Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to change pants at that moment?

There is, of course, one major difference between Lucas Glover and his sweaty weekend hacker. Glover has just won two consecutive PGA Tour events, FedEx St. Not a bad run for a guy who’s sweating worse than a teenager trying to buy beer for the first time.

“You work hard no matter what, whether you’re fighting at something or playing great,” Glover said after his victory on Sunday. “You just work so hard because you never know when it could turn, and it turned around really quickly for me. Luckily I was in a good frame of mind to take advantage of it.”

As recently as June of this year, Glover looked like he was in grave danger of losing not only his PGA Tour card, but the entire thread of his career. At the US Open qualifying event in Columbus, Ohio, he missed an 18-inch putt that would have put him back in the championship he once won. The road was dark, but to his credit Glover says he never thought of calling it a day.

“If you had told me (two consecutive victories would come) three months ago, I would have told you you were crazy,” he said Sunday night. “But at the same time, if you legitimately ask me do I think I’m capable, I’ll say yes, until then. It’s just one of those sad ways for athletes. We always believe in ourselves no matter how bad it gets.”

For a long time, it was really bad. Glover is best known for winning the 2009 US Open, beating Phil Mickelson and others by one stroke after having to qualify on his way to the tournament. Shortly thereafter, he slipped into a decade-long slump, a dismal business as he had to return to the PGA Tour even as his 10-year US Open exemption dwindled to nothing. He hasn’t even been eligible to play in any major since the 2022 PGA Championship.

So why continue? Why keep hacking when the wall between you and success seems to be getting thicker every year?

“Maybe I’m really stubborn,” Glover said. “You know, (for the last 10 years) up until this race, I hadn’t been able to finish and I knew it. It was all because of the situation.”

Glover switched to the long putter earlier this summer, and while it wasn’t a quick-change magic wand – he missed qualifying for the US Open with the long putter – it gave him the confidence he needed to realign his entire game and

Now, he’s enjoying his day a little more. A golfer for life, he’s full of dude notes that will resonate with pros and hackers alike. (“It’s fun,” he says of life on tour, “except when I have to do my laundry. Then it’s no fun.”)

Plus he indulges in this golfer’s ultimate fantasy: The Life Hack. Late in the tournament on Sunday, he dipped his hands in coolers filled with ice water along the track. He was chilling, yes, but in true Golf Guy fashion, there was deeper purpose, too.

“If you leave it there for as long as you can stand and then wipe it off real quick, it closes your pores for 10 or 15 minutes,” he said. “It literally keeps them from sweating for a while.” Come here. If that’s not the most dad-advised trick – “Put your hands in the ice water, it’ll keep you from sweating!” – And here’s Glover, doing it on the 71st hole of championship golf.

Sadly, Glover wasn’t able to keep his butt from sweating – perhaps the PGA Tour wouldn’t have approved of him sticking his bare butt into a cooler – but so what? He’s headed to the Tour Championship, he’ll have exceptions in the 2024 PGA Tour signature events, and he’ll play in a major again.

Anytime he’s sweating now, he knows he can handle the pressure… no matter how he looks while doing it. There’s just something inspiring about it, even if you sunk a bit while watching.

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