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There are few must-win situations in golf, but this week is one for Jamie Lovemark.
The former NCAA champion and Southern Cal product must win the John Deere Classic to maintain status on the PGA Tour and finish a major medical exemption he receive for a nagging back injury.
With a third round of 7-under 64 at TPC Deere Run on Saturday, Lovemark has given himself a chance to do just that. Lovemark, who made the cut by a shot at 5 under, reached 12 under par before the leaders teed off on Saturday.
Entering 2012, Lovemark needed to earn $633,473 in 16 starts to complete the exemption. In his 15 starts in 2012, Lovemark has made just five cuts and $97,111. The first-place prize of $828,000 is the only way he could pass that threshold.
A win, however, would earn Lovemark much more than full status on the PGA Tour. It would give him a first PGA Tour title, a two-year exemption and entry into next week's British Open.