Lovemark playing with water? Old news

Monday, February 14, 2011

In your life, have you ever seen anything like Jamie Lovemark’s submarine act at the Open?

His approach shot on the 18th hole at Grayhawk Golf Club, the first hole of a playoff with Rickie Fowler and Troy Matteson, sailed into the water, hit the concrete bottom, then bounced out and left into the rough, hanging out on the shore just as Lovemark has done his whole life in his hometown of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.


We definitely haven’t seen anything that crazy move in and out of a water hazard since Woody Austin.

Move over, Aquaman. This was way cooler.

You might remember that Lovemark, a big surfing junkie, once appeared on the cover of Golfweek’s College Preview issue in his USC uniform, hitting a shot on the beach while standing on a surfboard.

So he knows a thing or two about thrashing through water.

But that Lovemark’s golf ball heard him scream “Surf’s up” just as it fell below the surface is still only a rumor.

There were a lot of double-takes on the 18th hole Sunday. Golf Channel viewers first were told by Brandel Chamblee that Fowler’s drive on 18 had scooted through a fairway bunker and into a water hazard. We soon found out that the ball had stopped in the rough, in a tough sidehill lie.

A bit later, Lovemark caught his wedge thin from the middle of the fairway and watched his ball splash into the pond at 18, coincidentally the same body of water he found with an approach shot during a playoff at the 2005 AJGA Thunderbird International Junior.

“That was pretty crazy,” said Fowler. He had no clue Lovemark was still in the hole until he saw him taking his practice swings without taking a drop.

“I didn’t know what was going on,” Fowler said.

Only the slow-motion replay cleared things up.

“It happened so fast. You didn’t notice it. It was crazy,” said Lovemark, adding that last week was the first time his recent swing changes had been put to the test.

“I’m working on some things right now that I’m not quite used to under pressure.”

Nor under water.