Originally created 12/25/05

Glover: From PGA to graduation day

When Lucas Glover took the stage at Clemson's Littlejohn Coliseum to finally get his speech and communications degree, it was the first time in a while the rising PGA Tour star's name hadn't gotten much of a reaction.

"Nobody knew who I was," Glover said Friday, chuckling. "It was actually kind of nice."

Glover was more than satisfied with the simple handshake and congratulations he got from Clemson University President James F. Barker at Thursday's ceremonies.

The cap-and-gown walk capped a landmark year for the 26-year-old Glover - he married his high school sweetheart a few weeks ago and won his first PGA Tour event, along with more than $2 million, in a breakthrough pro season.

With the help of Barker and Glover's former Clemson academic adviser, Joe White, the golfer wrapped up a better 2005 than he hoped for.

When Glover finished his eligibility in 2001, he was four credit hours shy of a degree. Glover, who grew up about a half-hour from Clemson in Greenville, wanted his diploma. But he was also ready to start his golf career.

In 2003, Glover finished 17th on the Nationwide Tour to qualify for the PGA Tour. Despite winning $557,454 in 2004, Glover had to survive qualifying school to keep his card for this past year.

And Glover made it a remarkable season. Glover had five top-10 finishes, including a third at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, between February and May to all but guarantee he'd escape Q school.

Then he fulfilled a longtime dream with his first tour victory at the FUNAI Classic in October that earned him $792,000 and vaulted him into the year-ending Tour Championship.

The success also got Glover thinking again about his degree.

He took a biology course online and finished up soon after his final tournament and passed. The degree was his and he was ready for Clemson's December graduation.

That's when Glover discovered he missed the deadline to register for his cap and gown. But at a Clemson golf gathering, Barker had heard of Glover's predicament and told the prospective graduate that he could borrow one of the president's ceremonial robes.

Glover picked up his garb on the way to Littlejohn Coliseum and joined about 1,300 graduates.

Glover leaves next week for Hawaii where he'll open his year at the Mercedes Championships.

Glover's goals are simple - to win again, make some noise in a major and try and make a run at the U.S. Ryder Cup team.


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