John Deere Classic: Lovemark (son of a Drake hoopster) shoots 64

Silvis, Ill. – Jamie Lovemark is playing a tournament within a tournament this week at the John Deere Classic.

The son of former Drake basketball player Gary Lovemark needs to make $280,139 this week to maintain his conditional status on the PGA Tour. that translates to a solo third-place finish. He needs more than $500,000 to keep full-time status. that translates to a Deere victory.

“I’ve made my piece with it,” Lovemark said. “Regardless of what happens, I’ll be back out here.”

Lovemark has given himself a chance to keep that status, shooting a 7-under 64 in Saturday’s third round  to get to -12 for the tournament.

“I’ve played in plenty of events out here,” said Lovemark, an all-American at Southern California and the 2010 Nationwide (now player of the year. “I’ll have to take my chances if I don’t keep my card. It is what it is.”

Lovemark is in his precarious position because of a back injury that occurred in October of 2010. His Nationwide player of the year success got him his PGA Tour card in 2011. Lovemark tried to play, despite a tender back, but only lasted nine starts. He made just two cuts.

Lovemark had back surgery for a herniated disc in August of 2011. according to PGA Tour rules, he was given 16 starts in 2012 to earn the same amount as the top 125 money winners in 2011. the John Deere is Lovemark’s 16th event in 2012. He made just his sixth cut of the year at the Deere.

“I’m hoping to get a few more exemptions towards the end of the year, so I have that to look forward to,” said Lovemark, who shot 66 in the second round to get inside the cut line. “But as far as (Saturday), I’ve been playing like this for a long time. It just hasn’t been coming to the golf course. It’s nice to put two really good rounds together.”

Gary Lovemark was at TPC at Deere Run in 2008, after tournament director Clair Peterson gave his son a sponsor’s exemption.

“I’m not sure how far we are from Des Moines,” Lovemark said, when asked about his dad’s time at Drake.

In a USA Today story in 2007, Gary Lovemark discussed his college basketball career, which started at Minnesota in the mid-1960s and ended up at Drake.

“We had Lou Hudson at Minnesota,” Gary said. “It didn’t take long for me to realize I didn’t belong on the same court as him. at Drake we played Louisville every year, and they had Wes Unseld. I didn’t belong on the same court with him, either.”

Gary Lovemark stood 6 feet 7. Jamie is 6-4.

“I just hoped he’d never reach my height, because the great golfers, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus, were not that tall,” Gary said.

Jamie is determined to make it back to the PGA Tour if he doesn’t pull a victory out of his hat Sunday.

“There are multiple ways to get back on tour, this week being one of them,” Lovemark said. “Q-School, Nationwide (, I mean, doesn’t really matter anymore. I’ve played plenty of events out here and have my chance if I don’t get my card. It is what it is.”

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John Deere Classic: Lovemark (son of a Drake hoopster) shoots 64

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