‘What a ridiculous thing’: Why a major winner got mad at a writer. And why he cried
Brian Harman, over the subject of Lucas Glover, was brought to tears.
And he got mad at a writer.
Why not? Here’s the quick recap. Two weeks ago, at the Wyndham Championship, Glover won. Last week, at the FedEx St. Jude Championship, Glover won. All of that came after about a 10-year stretch where Glover was lost. The 2009 U.S. Open winner had battled putting yips, to a point where the right-hander considered going at things on the green as a lefty. But he had found a broomstick-style putter. And it worked. And here we are.
Of course, these past two weeks and that past decade are much more complex than a paragraph. All of it had a host of pros feeling some things.
“Yeah, it’s been unbelievable,” Rory McIlroy said Thursday. “I saw a thing from Data Golf a couple days ago where I think he’s like the ninth-best ball striker in the ShotLink era, from like 2004. We know he’s got the tools from tee to green. It was just a matter of him trying to figure out how to get the ball in the hole, and using this long putter, he’s certainly started to figure it out.
“It’s great to see. He’s a great guy. You’re not going to find one person out on Tour that has a bad thing to say about Lucas. I think everyone has been happy to see him play so well.”
“I know very well how great of a person he is and how talented of a player he has been for a long time,” Chris Kirk said. “But I think when people see somebody really struggle like he did with his putting for a number of years and then all of a sudden you’re able to see him kind of freed up and making putts and having fun and shooting low scores every day, yeah, I think it brings a smile to my face just talking about it because I know how hard he’s worked. I know — somebody that’s played on Tour and won as many times as he has, he didn’t have to keep fighting and didn’t have to keep grinding it out and working at it, but he did.
“To see him have that kind of success is awesome.”
“Lucas has always been Lucas,” Rickie Fowler said. “He’s a great guy. He’s fun to be around. He’s always been a great ball striker. He’s had a handful of years where he struggled with the flat stick and shorter putts, and that’s always been tough. That’s not something you want to see.
“You feel for guys when they’re going through that, and so it’s been awesome. I don’t think you’re going to find anyone that has pulled against him, seeing that he’s kind of resurrected his game and probably self-belief on the greens. Yeah, I’ve enjoyed watching it.”
Then came Harman.
He’s enjoyed a breakthrough himself, winning the Open Championship last month for his first major victory. He knows Glover well. He was asked to “contextualize” his run.
What followed was the anger at a writer, for a word choice.
And a reference to the movie Shawshank Redemption and the character played by actor Tim Robbins.
And some reflection.
Here’s the complete exchange. Yes, the Glover story has touched a few folks.
“How would you contextualize what Lucas Glover has done the last couple weeks?”
“It’s hard for me to put into words how proud and impressed I am with Lucas Glover just because of what he’s been through.
“Lucas — I read an article the other day that made me very angry. It called Lucas Glover a journeyman. It said journeyman Lucas Glover, and I thought, what a ridiculous thing to say. This guy has made I don’t know how many Tour Championships, won the U.S. Open. He’s won six or seven times now. Lucas Glover is a world beater.
“To go through what he went through with his putter and to come out the other side, I think about like Andy Dufresne, crawling through the river and coming out clean the other side. I’m so proud of him; I’m so happy for him. Gosh, my wife and I were watching him win Wyndham and both of us are in tears watching it, and to follow it back up the next week, it’s awesome.”
“Is that kind of the beauty of golf, how stuff like that, you never know when it can be someone’s time to do something?”
“Yeah, you never know,” Harman said. “If you would have told me I was going to win the Open mid-year, and after Memorial when I missed the cut by 100, it’s a beautiful game and it’ll humble you real fast. Just got to keep your head down and keep going.”
“Did you get a name of the guy that wrote the story?”
“No, I didn’t,” Harman said. “He doesn’t matter because that opinion is just — that just baffled me.”
“What brought you to tears?”
“Just I know what it means to Lucas,” Harman said. “I know what it means to his kids. You saw his daughter is there and she’s just crying her eyes out. It was just a beautiful scene.
I think all of us — we all struggle from time to time, and Lucas with the putter, he struggled. It’s like — he was talking about putting left-handed.
“I remember when I first moved down to St. Simons, we’d go out and we’d play golf, and it was long before I had a Tour card and I was like, I don’t know how I’m ever going to beat this guy. He was so good. He’s got such good hands. He was putting it so great. So he goes through that, and like I said, to come out the other side is just unreal.”
“Did you cry over your own win?”
“I was very emotional about it,” Harman said. “I thought a lot about my coach [Jack Lamkin] that died last year that I’d been with for 20-some-odd years and just wishing he’d have been around to see it. That kind of got me a little bit.