Glover banks on Quail Hollow boost for title defense
Lucas Glover hopes to resurrect an injury-plagued season at one of his favourite venues when he defends his title at this week's Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The former U.S. Open champion grew up in nearby Greenville, South Carolina, and has always felt a huge comfort factor whenever he plays at the hosting Quail Hollow Club.
"Any time you have success somewhere, it breeds a little bit of confidence so I feel good when I get here," American Glover told reporters on Tuesday while preparing for Thursday's opening round.
"I was here last Sunday and played with some friends ... probably the best round I've played all year. I know it was practice and it doesn't matter and nobody cares, but just being here there's something about it for me.
"It's always nice to come somewhere you love and be the defending champion," added Glover, a three-times winner on the PGA Tour. "I'm excited to be back and looking to try to play well and have a good defence."
Glover could certainly do with a good week at Quail Hollow after making just three cuts in five starts on the 2012 PGA Tour with a best finish of joint 66th at last week's New Orleans Classic.
He launched his campaign on a bitter note when he was forced to pull out of the season-opening Tournament of Champions in Hawaii after spraining a ligament in his right knee while paddleboarding the previous weekend.
Glover then tore an intercostal muscle in his left rib during last month's Masters at Augusta National where he ended up missing the cut following scores of 75 and 79.
"It was pretty tough to rotate," the 32-year-old said. "If it had been any other week but Augusta I don't think I would have played. But it's pretty hard to withdraw from that one, so I played through it and just got it fixed."
Asked to assess his fitness ahead of this week's event, Glover replied: "The knee has been fine. I'm as healthy as I've been since the day I got hurt back in the end of December.
"I feel good, just got to keep working on the right things and try to put some scores together."
Glover, who won his first PGA Tour title since the 2009 U.S. Open with a playoff victory at last year's Wells Fargo Championship, has been grouped with American Kyle Stanley and British world number three Lee Westwood for the first two rounds.
(Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles)