The other player who came up short in last year’s playoff with Rickie Fowler and Troy Matteson at the Frys.com Open? That was Jamie Lovemark, who had he won, of course, would have had a two-year exemption on the PGA TOUR. Instead, Lovemark was relegated to the Nationwide Tour most of the season with just three starts on TOUR (he missed the cut in two of them).
“I remember getting on a plane and heading to the first day of Q-School, so...” Lovemark said earlier this week. “You know, one shot, one putt changes everything.”
Of course Lovemark was fortunate to even have a chance in the playoff after his approach shot bounced out the water on 18 and he saved par from the rough to keep his hopes alive. Matteson, of course, went on to make birdie on the next hole and end the playoff.
Lovemark obviously would have preferred to be on the TOUR this year, but he was hardly disappointed with this season.
”I'm happy where I am this year,” said Lovemark, who is 1 under through four holes. “The Nationwide Tour has been great for me. It's great for a lot of people for different reasons. It's taught me how to be in contention, how to score and make a lot of birdies, how to travel by myself and live that kind of life.”
Lovemark has taken advantage of that opportunity, too, recording eight top-10s, including a win, in 20 starts. -- Brian Wacker