Glover makes himself feel at home

07/16/2011 2:00 AM

07/16/2011 6:25 AM

This week, Lucas Glover, Davis Love III and their caddies are sharing a little house in this tiny seaside town that is home to Royal St. George's, perhaps the world's largest collection of one-lane roads and 57 channels with nothing but cricket on.

When they're not at the golf course, wrestling the wind and the runaway bounces, the foursome has spent its time killing time.

"We pass the remote around to see what we can find," said Love, who is 2-under par, two off the Open Championship lead his housemate, Glover, shares with Darren Clarke.

Eating has become their entertainment.

"We're trying to eat as much as we can," Glover said.

How to be culturally delicate here ...

Let's just say that's not typically what American visitors put high on their to-do list when visiting the Queen's domain.

On Thursday night, after having South American cuisine delivered from a place called Amigos, Glover set about explaining cricket to his boys, who latched onto a local team named for Spitfire beer, a regional brew favored by some in the house. According to Love, Glover knows a thing or two about wickets, sticky or not, which has come in handy during the evenings.

Love kept checking his computer for on-line updates of the action they were watching, just to make sure Glover really knew his stuff. He's pretty good for a guy raised on Clemson football, it turns out.

Glover also threw two Frisbees into his travel bag in case a bout of cabin fever erupts.

What has developed is a potential case of Open Championship fever. Glover, who ended a two-year winless spell with his dramatic victory at the Wells Fargo Championship at Charlotte's Quail Hollow Club two months ago, has given himself the chance to add a second major trophy to the U.S. Open silverware he collected two years ago.

Ditto for Love, who's primarily supposed to be the U.S. Ryder Cup captain next year but keeps acting like a 46-year-old intent on making his own team by adding the claret jug to the PGA Championship trophy he won 14 years ago.

Clever move by Glover to share a house with the guy in charge of making at-large picks for the Ryder Cup team a little over a year from now.

Anything else you want to know about cricket, Mr. Love?

Through two days, Glover has handled Royal St. George's crooked bounces and firm greens as well as anyone in the field. His low ball flight, almost always with a right-to-left bend, works well in the breezy conditions, and Glover has a crush on his putter again.

"All we're trying to do is get the ball on the green so he can putt for birdie again," said Don Cooper, Glover's caddie and housemate this week.

That's the way it was at Quail Hollow in May, when Glover broke out of his funk with a brilliant combination of ball-striking and putting. He made a small swing change that week, and it was like fresh air to a dark, stuffy room. Glover has tweaked his swing again this week, making a wider takeaway, and suddenly Royal St. George's heaving fairways don't look so threatening.

For a guy who grew up in Greenville, S.C., and now lives at St. Simons Island, Ga., Glover loves the untamed nature of links golf. It's not what he played growing up - it's not what many in the field played often - but he likes the way it challenges him to do things differently.

"We'd play until they won't let us play any more if we could," Cooper said.

The victory at Quail Hollow showed Glover that he could tack four good rounds together again, something he hadn't done in a year before it happened in Charlotte. He did it under pressure, handling the wicked finish at Quail Hollow, and with predicted gusty winds and heavy rain forecast for today, good vibes may be as important as reliable waterproofs, as the Brits call their rain gear.

Glover is living simply here this week as he attempts to become the first bearded Open champion in more than a century. That kind of statistical background is part of what separates the majors from other events.

"Ironing and shaving are two of my least favorite things to do," Glover said. "I've eliminated one of them."

With his golf clothes made from new-age materials, he doesn't have to iron either.

"That's the beauty of these clothes," Glover said. "You hang them up for a night, and you're good."

Two nights into this Open Championship, no one has been better than Glover.

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