Magician Lovemark poised to show PGA Tour his great escapes


PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Jamie Lovemark’s got a little Seve Ballesteros in him.

He may not be as wild a driver of the golf ball as Ballesteros was, but the Nationwide Tour’s leading money winner will show PGA Tour pros some serious recovery skills when he moves up to the big show next year.

Lovemark’s remarkable bounce shot in the playoff at the Open last fall was a classic that didn’t surprise players who’ve competed against him. We’re talking about the shot Lovemark hit in the water, the shot that then “bounced” out of the water and onto dry land. It actually hit the concrete bottom of the pond and ricocheted up onto safe haven.

It was just another great escape for Lovemark, who has shown off those skills all year on the Nationwide Tour.

When Lovemark was at USC, he went head-to-head against UCLA’s Kevin Chappell numerous times. Lovemark was the NCAA’s Jack Nicklaus Player of the Year in ’07 and Chappell won the honor in ’08.

“What impresses you is Jamie’s ability to get the ball in the hole,” said Chappell, who also has locked up a PGA Tour card for next year through his eighth place spot on the Nationwide Tour money list. “As soon as you count Jamie out, he’s going to hole a bunker shot, or make a 30-footer, or do something you don’t expect. He’s resilient. He’s a fighter.”