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“I would like to graduate,” he said. “Age on the PGA Tour is such an important thing. Maturity factor and experience are key out here. Guys are playing into their 40s and 50s. If you’re a little kid out here at 19, you’ve got 20 or 30 years to learn things. If things keep on going my way, the earliest I’d probably turn pro is after my junior year. But I’m so far away from that I can’t even talk about it.”

If Lovemark continues to mock the standard learning curve, superstardom might not wait that long. Though extremely rare, amateurs have captured PGA Tour events twice in the last 50 years: Scott Verplank won the 1985 Western Open, and Mickelson took the 1991 Northern Telecom Open. Though such an accomplishment is still a significant leap away, Lovemark isn’t intimidated by the thought. Nor does he shy away from the phenom tag that has smothered so many gifted players.

“No, that’s cool. It’s something you think about when you’re a kid, and there’s no reason to be afraid of [stardom],” he said. “If you work hard, it should come to you, so I’m very happy to even be considered that kind of a talent.”