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Quick Round with Jamie Lovemark

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Jamie Lovemark’s the youngest player on the Nationwide Tour at 22 years, 8 months and 29 days old.

Nobody calls him “Kid” or “Junior” or “Young ‘un” and that’s probably because he seems so old for his age.

This is a no-nonsense guy with serious game and serious plans. The evidence is in his seriously steely demeanor and the seriously quick starts he makes in life.
Jamie Lovemark
Scrambling has been one of Jamie Lovemark's biggest assets. (Getty Images)
Lovemark won the NCAA individual title as a freshman at USC and also claimed the Jack Nicklaus and Haskins awards as National Player of the Year in his first collegiate season. In his first season as a pro last year, he nearly won the Open, losing out to Troy Matteson in a three-way playoff that included Rickie Fowler. Now, Lovemark is busy trying to win the Nationwide Tour money title in his first season on that tour. He has one hand on the big prize, teeing it up No. 1 on the money list this week at the Winn-Dixie Jacksonville Open with next week’s Nationwide Tour Championship at Daniel Island the year’s last event. His season highlights include winning the Mexico Bicentenary Open in June.

Lovemark’s a long hitter, ranking ninth on the long-hitting Nationwide Tour at 311.5 yards per drive, but you ask his peers what sets him apart and they’ll tell you it’s his ability to get up and down from almost anywhere. Though he’s just 57th on tour in hitting greens in regulation, he ranks fifth in scoring (69.19). He’s fourth in scrambling and 13th in putts per round.

In a Quick Round, Lovemark talks about his Nationwide Tour experience:

You’re No. 1 on the money list, how important is it to you to finish there?

It’s very important. If I finish No. 1 I get into The Players Championship, and I can get into most anything [among PGA Tour regular events] and if I play well there I get into even more events.

How do you evaluate your first full season as a pro?

I wanted to finish the year No. 1 on the money list, and so far I’m No. 1 . . . so far, so good.

What’s most satisfying about your year?

That I won. That’s probably the best part of this season. I’m first on the money list, but the win was the best part.

Where have you made your biggest improvements as a pro?

I think I’m scoring better. I’m making more birdies in a round than I did in college.

You came so close to winning a PGA Tour card with your playoff effort at the Open last year. Was it frustrating or motivating to come so close?

It was neither. I had one good event. I finished second, so that was good. This year’s been good for me, and it will be good for me next year, too.

Did you prove anything to yourself nearly winning the Open last year that helped you this year?

It proved something to other people, not to myself. I knew I could compete anywhere. In that respect, it didn’t change my opinion of myself. I’m maybe on the map a little bit more in other people’s minds.

Have you learned anything beyond golf playing this tour, about life, being on your own, how to travel, etc.?

We traveled a bunch in college. I grew up a single child, so I know how to be on my own. I think the tour’s helped me with being in contention more and making a lot of birdies in a round.