DUBLIN, Ohio – David Lingmerth on Thursday fired his best round of the season, a 7-under 65 that once again has him atop the leaderboard at Muirfield Village.
A bogey-free 5 under at the turn, Lingmerth went bogey-birdie-bogey-birdie on Nos. 10-13 and reached the uphill par-5 15th still minus-5 on his day.
After finding the fairway, he pulled a 3-wood from 236 yards yards and left himself just an 8-foot putt for eagle, which he went on to hole.
From there, he’d trade a birdie at 17 with another bogey at 18 to take the early lead at the end of the morning wave.
“I was rolling it good all day,” said Lingmerth, who needed just 24 putts. “Got off to a nice start and then tried to plug away. Had three bogeys on the back nine, but with that eagle and a couple more birdies, I managed to scrape around for a pretty good 7 under.”
His round of 65 was particularly impressive considering he hit just 7 of 14 fairways. Muirfield Village – with its lush, healthy rough and smaller, tilted greens – is not typically a course that rewards wayward drives, but Lingmerth certainly got away with some shaky tee shots in Round 1.
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“I managed to get some decent lies out of the ones that missed the fairway,” Lingmerth said before he headed back to the practice range. “And that’s the thing, I usually rely a lot on my driving, hitting fairways.
“So that’s something I’m going to go work on now. But every other facet of my game feels good. Hopefully I can improve on that.”
Lingmerth picked up his lone Tour win here in 2015, winning a playoff over Justin Rose. Off to a slow start this season, he missed five of his first 10 cuts, but has picked up his play over the last month, with a T-18 at the Wells Fargo and T-12 at last week’s Dean & DeLuca.
“Golf is a funny game,” he said. “It’s very humbling. I’ve been working hard all year and never really found my groove I guess. But [I’ve been] sticking to it, and all along I knew that this stretch was coming up here, and I really like it. Colonial last week, and I love this week, obviously.
“I just kind of try to stay patient all year knowing that it will probably start turning around eventually. I feel like my game has been trending in the right direction. I’ve got some stuff I need to work on but it’s getting there.”