Sat, Aug 15, 2015 - Page 20 News List

Sweden’s Lingmerth off to another storming start

AFP, KOHLER, Wisconsin

David Lingmerth plays a shot during the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, on Thursday.

Photo: AFP

Sweden’s David Lingmerth fashioned a first-round gem on Thursday, defying blustery winds to post a five-under-par 67 at the USPGA Championship.

Lingmerth was the only afternoon starter at Whistling Straits to put a serious scare into first-round leader Dustin Johnson, who put together his first-round 66 before the worst of the wind kicked in.

“Whatever David ate this morning, I’d like to eat tomorrow,” said an admiring Jordan Spieth, who managed a one-under 71 in the testing late conditions. “That’s a heck of a round of golf in those conditions.”

Lingmerth was all but flawless through 14 holes. Teeing off on 10, he had birdies at five of his first seven.

That was when the 28-year-old Swede recalled his storming front nine in the first round of The Open last month, when he posted seven birdies for a front-nine record of 29 at St Andrews in Scotland.

“It did cross my mind when I had a good look there at 17 to go to six-under after eight holes,” he said.

Lingmerth settled for par at 17 and again at 18, making the turn in 31.

“I got off to a flying start, was able to make some putts and give myself a lot of looks,” he said. “So, yeah, front nine was really good.”

And unlike at St Andrews — where he ballooned to a 40 on the back nine and eventually finished the tournament tied for 74th — Lingmerth kept it together for 18 holes.

He played his second nine in even-par 36, moving to six-under with a birdie at the fifth before a bogey at the sixth.

He is hoping that is a sign that things will be different this week than they were at The Open.

“I did get a good start that front nine, but I was very disappointed how I continued my play that week,” said Lingmerth, who claimed his first USPGA Tour title at the Memorial this year.

“It’s hard to tell what’s going to happen this week, but where I am right now, I’m feeling really comfortable with my game,” he said.

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