How a Well-Placed Cooler Helped Lucas [I Don’t Wear a] Glover Win for a Second Time in Two Weeks

Is Lucas Glover the hottest player in golf? Or are his hands on fire… That is the question of the week here at ClickitGolf headquarters.

At the FedEx St. Jude Classic on Sunday, he certainly looked to be, but then again, looks can be deceiving.

To see how the sweltering Memphis heat was affecting Glover, you needed to look no further than his khaki pants, which were so sweat-soaked that Glover looked as if he’d hopped a fence, to run through a sprinkler and then jumped into a pool at TPC Southwind.

It was that kind of week at the PGA Tour’s first of three playoff events, where the heat index threatened 120 degrees. That’s not a typo—120 degrees!!! In the second round, which Harris English described as “the hottest I’ve ever felt on a golf course,” English’s own caddie needed to be helped off the course with heat exhaustion. Jordan Spieth said he was “humbled” by the oppressive conditions, adding, “It’s just a different kind of heat.” Said Tommy Fleetwood, “Obviously the disadvantage is just how sweaty it is, how slippy your hands can be, and the grips and everything.”

The third round wasn’t any better. I haven’t played in this heat since maybe Memphis last year,” Justin Rose said. Hoping for some reprieve from the swamp-like conditions, Sunday’s fourth round was uncooperative as temps hit well into the triple digits again…

Now, that brings us back to Glover’s sweaty adventures. Here we go.

At the Wyndham Championship last week, every part of Glover’s game was dialed in—including his short putting, which a decade-long case of the yips had derailed, and he won by two. In Memphis, Glover continued to play well, posting 66-64-66 in the first three rounds, but said he felt like he didn’t have total command of his swing and was only able to go low thanks to his short game. On Sunday, Glover made just one birdie in his first 13 holes and looked destined to kick away the tournament.

“It was a physical fight,” Glover said of the round. “I was fighting my swing and wasn’t hitting it great. Pressure-wise, I’d say on par with last week but just different. Last week was more about trying to win. This week was more about trying to survive and just stay in the game and see if something good happened.”

But when Glover made an 11-footer for par on 17, he arrived on the 18th tee tied with Patrick Cantlay, who was already in the house at 15 under. If there was ever a time to stay cool, this was it, and Glover knew it. Spotting a plastic cooler by the tee box, Glover peered into it and plunged his hands into the icy water.

A curious move but also a crafty one. “It’s a way to keep my hands from sweating,” Glover explained after the round. “If you leave them in there as long as you can stand it and then wipe them off real quick, it closes your pores up for 10 to 15 minutes. So, I do that if there’s any water in the coolers when it’s like this since I don’t wear a glove. It literally stops them from sweating for a little while.”

Science is behind Glover’s strategies. According to medical research, cold water constricts tissue in the hands, including sweat glands, and soaking hands in icy water for 30 minutes can prevent palms from sweating for up to three hours.

Glover, it turned out, just needed to control his palm sweat for two more holes. After making par on 18, he and Cantlay advanced to a playoff, which Glover won on the first hole.

In his first 14 starts of 2023, Glover missed 10 cuts. In the depths of those struggles, he was asked Sunday evening, if he could possibly have envisioned himself winning in consecutive weeks in August.

“I would have flat-out told you that you’re crazy, and need to get that checked out” he said. “But at the same time, if you asked me if I thought I was capable, that’s a different ballgame, I’d say 100% – absolutely YES! It’s just one of those odd ways athletes are wired. We always believe in ourselves, no matter how bad it is.”

Or, it seems in this case, how hot it is. Que Nelly music and a mic drop… OUT