CARLSBAD, Calif (June 5, 2007) -- It has been almost two years since we profiled Jamie Lovemark, after he became the youngest-ever champion of the historic Western Amateur in July of 2007. Since then, he has made the cut in two PGA Tour events, and capped off his first year at USC by winning the NCAA individual title and being named freshman of the year.
Lovemark, 19, was named a member of the 2008 Walker Cup team, which won a thrilling 12 1/2 - 11 1/2 victory over the Great Britain & Ireland at Royal County Down, N. Ireland. He and teammate Jonathan Moore were the only Americans to win their clinching Sunday singles matches. He took the lead on the fourth hole and slowly pulled away to a 4 & 2 win over Englishman Jamie Moul.
"You know, I tried my hardest to just stay focused and keep my intensity as high as possible," said Lovemark after the win. "I knew I was hitting it as well as anybody out there. You know, I'm a fighter. I hate losing; I just hate it."
With Lovemark leading the way, the West Coast took home the lion's share of the awards given annually by the Golf Coaches Association of America following the conclusion of the NCAA Division I Men's Golf Championship (this year's site was Golden Horseshoe GC in Williamsburg, VA.).
Lovemark won every award possible this year:
1.) The Jack Nicklaus Award as Division I Player of the Year
“There’s quite a few pretty good names on that trophy, Jamie,’’ Nicklaus said during the trophy presentation at the Memorial Tournament. “If you want to stay around this afternoon, you’ll see probably about 20 of those guys out here playing.’’
2.) The Phil Mickelson Award as Freshman of the Year
3.) The Arnold Palmer Award as individual NCAA champion
Lovemark, who went to Torrey Pines High School, was named to the 10-player Ping/GCAA All-American team and the five-player all-freshman team. Stanford coach Conray Ray won the Dave Williams Award as national Coach of the Year.
West Coast representatives on the All-American team included freshman Kyle Stanley of Clemson, a Washington resident who finished second to Lovemark at the NCAA Championship; BYU junior Daniel Summerhays; and senior Niklas Lemke of Arizona State. Joining Lovemark on the all-freshman team were USC's Rory Hie, last year's CIF-SCGA Southern California High School champion; and Stanford's Joseph Bramlett, runner-up in the 2005 California Amateur Championship.
Lovemark became just the eighth freshman to win the NCAA individual title and second in a row after Oklahoma State's Jonathan Moore did it. Today's title was his fourth of the year and first since winning the 2007 Pac-10 title. Lovemark finished the season with eight top-3 finishes.
There doesn't seem to be any part of the game that Lovemark doesn't excel at, but despite his recent success, thoughts of turning pro are on the back burner for this amateurgolf.com member for now.
When asked if he had thoughts of turning professional, Lovemark said:
“Nope. None whatsoever. I talked to a lot of guys. Phil Mickelson is a member at my home course back in San Diego and talked a while about my decision. He said to stay in school all four years and I planned on doing that before I talked to him and still plan on doing it.”
-- Story courtesy of SCGA with additions by amateurgolf.com