By Dave Senko, PGA TOUR staff
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – Jamie Lovemark made critical birdies on Nos. 15 and 16 and then made a clutch 15-foot putt on No. 18 to win the 2013 Midwest Classic Presented by Cadillac at the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club at LionsGate. Lovemark closed with a 5-under-par 66 for a 72-hole total of 18-under-par 266. He finished one stroke in front of Mark Anderson, while 54-hole leader Chesson Hadley finished tied for third with Matt Davidson
Lovemark’s pressure-packed putt came moments after he saw his 9-iron land in a greenside bunker. After blasting out and waiting for playing partner Chesson Hadley to putt, he calmly stepped up and knocked in his putt, ending any chance for a playoff with Anderson.
“That was a big bunker shot for me at No. 18 and I don’t recall ever making a putt to win like that,” said Lovemark. “It’s one of those putts you practice when fooling around and telling yourself ‘this is to win the British Open’. It felt really good to make it.”
It has been a frustrating couple of years for the former Southern Cal standout. After winning 2010 Web.com Tour Player of the Year honors in 2010 and graduating to the PGA TOUR, Lovemark played nine events on Tour in 2011 before back woes sidelined him for the remainder of the season. He underwent back surgery in August, 2011 Lovemark returned full time in 2012, splitting time between the PGA TOUR and the Web.com Tour.
“It feels great to be playing well again and this win is a huge relief for me,” said Lovemark, who also won the 2007 NCAA Individual title while at USC. “It was nice to finally put four good rounds together.”
Sunday’s win came in his 14th start on the Web.com Tour this year. He posted his first top-10 of the season a week ago in Salt Lake City where he was T7 at the Utah Championship.
Mark Anderson, who finished two groups in front of Lovemark, posted a 17-under-par total of 267 and was second.
“I played well today and it was nice to make birdies coming in on Nos. 17 and 18,” Anderson said. “The course played easier because it was a lot softer, but I put myself in position and I couldn’t ask for anything more than that.”
With his second-place finish, Anderson moved from 16th to 7th on the 2013 Web.com Tour money list. He won earlier this year at the BMW Charity Classic.
Chesson Hadley, who started the day one stroke in front of Paul Claxton, couldn’t duplicate his Saturday effort and shot a 1-under-par 70. A bogey at No. 18 dropped him into a tie for third with Matt Davidson.
“It’s never fun to lose. The course was playing tough today and I didn’t hit it well enough to win and that’s the way it is, but I certainly gave myself some opportunities coming down the stretch and that’s all I can ask,” Hadley said. “I’m really, really happy for Jamie. He’s been hurt and been out, but to get back into the winner’s circle, I’m so happy for him. I told him he owes me dinner now.”
Midwest Classic News and Notes: The victory moved Jamie Lovemark from 76th to 14th on the 2013 Web.com Tour money list ... It was also Lovemark’s first win since he claimed the 2010 Mexico Open Bicentenary in a playoff over B.J. Staten ... Matt Davidson’s tie for third was his best showing in a Web.com Tour event since he was T3 at the 2010 Knoxville News Sentinel Open ... Matt Hendrix, Edward Loar and Alexandre Rocha shared honors for the day’s low round, 7-under-par 64. It helped Loar finish fifth for his sixth top-10 finish this season ... Mark Anderson and Matt Hendrix led all players with 23 birdies ... Hendrix moved up 103 places in the final standings after an opening-round 73. He was T114 after his first round, but followed with rounds of 66, 68 and 64 to finish T11 ...Franklin Corpening was credited with the longest drive for the week, a 398-yarder in the first round on No. 13. It was one yard further than John Hurley on the same hole in the second round.