- The Washington Times - Saturday, July 4, 2009

A patron on the 15th hole at the AT&T; National asked a question of no one in particular.

“What’s his name in the blue?”

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If Lucas Glover - that guy in the blue - keeps winning U.S. Opens and shooting 66s while playing with Tiger Woods, he won’t have to worry about anyone failing to recognize him.

Glover, who conquered Bethpage Black two weeks ago, had five birdies Friday at Congressional Country Club - all in his first nine holes - and one bogey to improve to 5 under. It wasn’t a dominant performance, but Glover’s score matched Woods’ round and kept him in the hunt for the weekend at five shots back.

“I hit a lot of good putts,” said Glover, who had 28 in the round. “I did all my bad work on the same hole and made 5 on one of the easiest holes out there, but I’m not upset with 4 under around here.”

The Greenville, S.C., native birdied Nos. 15 through 18 to close out the first half of his round, making putts of 17-plus feet on Nos. 15 and 18. Perhaps more impressive, Glover did so while playing with Woods and before a megasized gallery.

Glover had been in this situation before, paired with Tiger in the final round of the 2006 Buick Open. Starting the day in a tie for second, Glover shot an even-par 72 and dipped all the way into a tie for 15th.

In his first two rounds at Congressional, Glover held his own against the world’s No. 1 player. The Clemson graduate credited his experience dealing with crowds at Bethpage - and his relationship with Woods - for helping him succeed where most players falter.

“I guess just I’m comfortable around him,” Glover said. “We’re friendly with each other. … [The fans] have been urging me on for a couple weeks now, ever since the Open. [I’m] pretty happy about that. It’s fun.”

After the round, Woods said the only thing different about Glover this year is a U.S. Open title.

“He hasn’t changed,” Woods said. “No, no, Lucas won’t change. He’s a great guy - always has been. Guys really enjoy playing with him and being around him.”

Glover is hoping his game won’t change anytime soon. In 14 events leading up to the U.S. Open, he had only three top-15 finishes. After his Open victory, Glover finished 11th at the Travelers Championship last week, and he sits in ideal position to make a weekend charge at Congressional.

“I’m just trying to get back to where I was the last couple of weeks,” he said.

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