Lovemark tops money list, fully exempt for ’11
CHARLESTON, S.C. – With a seventh-place finish Sunday at the Nationwide Tour Championship, Jamie Lovemark claimed the top spot on the money list to secure fully-exempt status next season on the PGA Tour.
After a standout career at USC, Lovemark, 22, had little trouble adjusting during his first full pro season. He became only the 11th Nationwide player to eclipse $400,000 in season earnings, finishing with $452,951 to top Chris Kirk by $41,745. Kirk withdrew from the final two events of the season after breaking a bone in his left thumb.
Hunter Haas finished third on the money list, after a T-5 in the Nationwide Tour Championship. Tommy Gainey, a former participant on the Golf Channel reality series “Big Break,” had a chance to overtake Lovemark with a big week at Daniel Island, but shot rounds of 71-72-71-75 to finish fourth in the yearlong race.
Lovemark, the youngest player to top the Nationwide Tour money list, will now be able to play a full schedule of events in 2011, including an automatic exemption into the Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass. Lovemark had seven top-5 finishes this season on the Nationwide circuit, including a win at the Mexico Open.
Last year, in only his fourth event since turning pro, Lovemark lost a three-way playoff at the PGA Tour’s Frys.com Open.