U.S. Open
June 19, 2015

Jamie Lovemark sand-saves his way into contention

UNIVERSITY PLACE, Wash. -- After a Friday 68 brought PGA Tour journeyman Jamie Lovemark to two under for the week, one statistic stuck out above all others: Lovemark is an incredible 7-for-7 at getting up and down from the bunkers this week, including a hole out for birdie on No. 7 in the second round Friday. That's no easy task in normal circumstances -- the record for the entire PGA Tour last year was Chris Kirk, who had 14 saves in a row at one point -- but it's even more remarkable when you consider the fast, bumpy quality of the Chambers Bay greens.

You can't underestimate the importance of that stat to Lovemark's current position, T-10. First off, there are less than 10 players in the field who have even been in the sand as much as he has. The only players with similar perfect marks greater than 1-for-1 are Kevin Kisner, Cole Hammer and Ian Poulter, all of whom are 3-for-3. If Lovemark had been merely average, he'd be in danger of missing the cut. Instead, he'll head into the weekend with a real chance to put up a low score and contend for his first professional title outside the Web.com Tour.