Lovemark's game coming around
__Matt Savage __pulled off the upset win the 108th North & South Amateur yesterday, but runner-up Jamie Lovemark looks like he's back to his old self. The rising junior at USC claimed a share of medalist honors then stormed through his side of the bracket at Pinehurst (N.C.) Resort last week and nearly claimed the prestigious amateur title despite the fact his putter betrayed him throughout Sunday's scheduled 36-hole final.
While making a clutch 12-foot birdie on the 36th hole, one Lovemark had to hole to extend the match after Savage, 1 up at the time, was already in for par, the 2007 NCAA champ missed a three-footer on the first extra hole that would have closed out the match. Still, Lovemark's game appears to have bounced back from the poor form he showed at the NCAA Championship in June.
"I'm hitting the ball better than I ever have and my short game is really solid," Lovemark said Sunday. "I just putted poorly the last couple of days and that's what certainly did me in."
Like many of the golfers in the field last week at Pinehurst, Lovemark was in attendance not just for the competition but to get an early look at the course that hosts the U.S. Amateur Championship next month. From that standpoint, it appears Lovemark accomplished his goal:
"I came here this year to see and get a feel for this golf course to help prepare for the U.S. Amateur," said Lovemark, who is exempt into the Amateur thanks to being on the 2007 U.S. Walker Cup team. "I think in that sense I got more than what I bargained for. I sure learned a lot and I know it will help me when I come back next month."