OWINGS MILLS, Md.--I ran into USC director of golf Kurt Schuette last night in the lobby of the host hotel here for the NCAA Women's Championship, but had to ask him about one of the golfer's on his men's team, junior Jamie Lovemark. The 2007 NCAA medalist and national player of the year withdrew from the final round of the West Regional last weekend after pain from a torn oblique muscle near his ribs became too much to play through.
"I'm not really sure if he's going to be able to play at Inverness," said Schuette, his body language suggesting an even more pessimistic outlook than his voice.
According to Schuette, doctors performed a bone scan yesterday to make sure Lovemark hadn't actually cracked a rib in addition to the muscle tear, with the results pending.
Schuette says that the injury occurred when the team was practicing last week in preparation for regional play. Lovemark sat out the practice round at Lake Merced GC in Daly City, Calif., and was only hitting the ball "about 60 percent" during the first two rounds of play, when he shot a 76-83.
"He still helped up improve our first-round score by a stroke," noted Schuette, not small point considering the Trojans secured the fifth and final spot out of the West Regional by just one stroke over New Mexico
"It's a shame because Jamie was really starting to get comfortable again," said Schuette, referencing Lovemark's recovery from a broken pinky finger suffered in March.
Lovemark's status for the U.S. Palmer Cup in two weeks also would seemingly be up in the air, pending how the injury. An alternate has been selected to replace Lovemark should he have to withdraw from the event, but the player's identity will only be revealed if he is needed, according to a GCAA spokeperson.
Photo courtesy of the USC Sports Information Department.