Lingmerth extends lead by two headed into the weekend
June 30, 2017
By Cameron Morfit, PGATOUR.COM
- June 30, 2017
David Lingmerth gets to 10-under to lead at Quicken LoansIn the second of the 2017 Quicken Loans National, David Lingmerth backs up yesterday's 65 with another solid 65, while Ricky Barnes and Geoff Ogilvy make charges of their own up the leaderboard.
POTOMAC, Md. – Notes and observations from Friday’s second round of the Quicken Loans National, where David Lingmerth shot a second straight 5-under 65 to reach 10 under par and take a two-shot lead over Geoff Ogilvy, who also shot 65. Daniel Summerhays (68) was at 6 under and in third place alone.
For more coverage from the TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm, click here for the Daily Wrap-up.
OGILVY ENJOYS ‘MID-CAREER’ RESURGENCE
Geoff Ogilvy has won eight times on the PGA TOUR, three of which came in World Golf Championship events. He has played in three Presidents Cups, reached a high of No. 3 in the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR), and won the 2006 U.S. Open.
But at 40, he’s at a career crossroads. He has slipped to 119th in the FedExCup standings and 231st in the OWGR, and is using a one-time exemption to play on TOUR this season based on being in the top 50 in career earnings.
“I kind of figured that's what [the exemption] was for,” said Ogilvy, who has made over 200 feet of putts over the first two rounds while getting to 8 under, two back. “Everyone kind of thinks it's when you're 48, 49, just to get ready for the Champions Tour. I wouldn't want to play a full season when I'm 48, but now I wanted to play a full season, so I took it.”
Ogilvy’s last win came at the 2014 Barracuda Championship, and his 10-year exemption for winning the U.S. Open at Winged Foot ran out last year. He’s a “mid-career” player, he says, who has had “a rough stretch.” He’s too young to stop competing.
Still, he has wondered what it might feel like to be a coach. That’s because International Presidents Cup captain Nick Price asked Ogilvy if he wanted to be an assistant for this year’s biennial tilt against the U.S. at Liberty National, Sept. 28-Oct. 1, and Ogilvy jumped at it.
“The whole time I've thought it would be great to play,” he said. “Especially Liberty, as soon as we heard it was going to be at Liberty National—there's just something about that venue that's going to be special in that tournament. Incredible galleries, the location. I can't imagine a better place for a tournament like that.”
But come on. An assistant coach? At age 40? Ogilvy looked less like a coach and more like a player at TPC Potomac on Friday.
Playing in the first group out with David Hearn and Xander Schauffele, Ogilvy stuck his approach shot to just inside six feet at the first and made birdie. At the 622-yard, par-5 second hole he blistered a 328-yard drive followed by a 284-yard second shot, reaching the green for a two-putt birdie. He hit his approach to just inside two feet at the fourth.
In short, he looked like the guy who reached No. 3 in the world in 2008.
Back then, Ogilvy was exempt and didn’t have to play his way into majors. Now he does. He could lock up a spot in the Open Championship this week; the top four players who are not already exempt and finish in the top 12 at the Quicken earn spots at Royal Birkdale, July 20-23.
Ogilvy had a chance to earn an Open berth at the Australian Open last November, but faded at the finish to wind up in a tie for fourth, losing his spot to Aaron Baddeley, who also finished T4 but was higher in the OWGR.
A TOUR card, the Presidents Cup, the Open Championship—Ogilvy won’t lack for something to play for this weekend at the Quicken Loans.
The Presidents Cup, though, may loom largest.
“It's my favorite event in golf to actually play it,” he said. “It's been sad to kind of miss the last couple. I've looked lovingly at the screen when it's been on, so it was disappointing. At least I'll be there this time. If I can play my way in, that would be even better.”
ATWAL MAKING MOST OF EXEMPTION
Arjun Atwal, 44, plays plenty of golf. It’s just that he plays it at his home club, Isleworth, with fellow members. The stakes: pride, and maybe a few bucks.
With little status on the PGA TOUR, Atwal, who was born in India but makes his home in Orlando, is making just his fifth tournament start this year at the Quicken, where he’s playing on a sponsor exemption. Three of those starts have been in Asia, and just one, the FedEx St. Jude Classic in Memphis three weeks ago, on TOUR. (He Monday-qualified for it.)
“They were all a month apart,” Atwal said at the Quicken at TPC Potomac, where he’s five back after rounds of 68-67. “It’s been hard to get into any kind of rhythm. But I finished like 15th at my last Asian Tour event in Japan, so the game feels pretty good.”
Atwal’s lone TOUR win came at the 2010 Wyndham Championship, where he became the first Monday qualifier to go on to win since Fred Wadsworth at the 1986 Southern Open. The last time Atwal shot consecutive rounds under par on TOUR was at last year’s Quicken Loans, which he also got into on a sponsor exemption. (He is pals with tournament host Tiger Woods.)
In other words, it’s been a while.
Still, he isn’t ready to retire. Atwal is exempt on the Asian Tour, where he picked up his last tournament victory at the 2014 Dubai Open, but doesn’t particularly want to play there. At least not all the time.
“It’s a place for me to play right now just to get the tournaments in,” he said. “But the travel kills me. I’m 44 years old, and every time I get on that flight, there’s jet lag, the body hurts—it’s just tough.”
Based on his status, he thinks he might get into the Barbasol Championship and the Barracuda Championship, and maybe the Wyndham Championship as a past champion. Beyond that, he’ll play in more Monday qualifiers, and a top-10 finish at TPC Potomac would get him into The Greenbrier Classic next week.
Stranger things have happened.
“I still want to play here,” Atwal said, “so if I can get some reps and keep playing tournaments, it’d be good for me.”
CALL OF THE DAY
LINGMERTH KEEPS ROLLING
Players have commented on the U.S. Open-like difficulty of TPC Potomac all week, and less than a quarter of the field was under par as late starters battled swirling winds Friday.
David Lingmerth isn’t bothered a bit. Five years after he shot 66-66-74-66 on this course to win the Web.com Tour’s 2012 Neediest Kids Championship, he has gone 65-65 to open up a two-shot lead over a resurgent Geoff Ogilvy at the Quicken.
“It was a pretty stress-free round,” Lingmerth said of his bogey-free 65 on Friday.
Should he win, he is projected to shoot up the FedExCup standings, from 105th to 30th. And like Ogilvy, he could play his way into the British Open. The top four players who are not already exempt and finish in the top 12 at the Quicken earn spots at Royal Birkdale, July 20-23.
Although he won the 2015 Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide, Lingmerth is an under-the-radar talent. Quiet. Not flashy. He’s a hockey fan—he’s adopted the Washington Capitals as his NHL fave—and never uses a No. 2 ball in competition. His uncle, Goran Lingmerth, was a kicker for the Cleveland Browns in 1987.
Lingmerth is also prone to bouts of extreme steadiness. Through two rounds at the Quicken, the Swede—who now lives in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida—has hit 22 of 28 fairways and 26 of 36 greens in regulation. He’s minimizing his mistakes, as when he chipped in for birdie at the par-5 second hole, and is averaging a tidy 25.5 putts per round.
“Been in pretty good control of my game so far,” he said.
On a course where trouble lurks around every dogleg, that’s an understatement.
ODDS AND ENDS
Only 22 of the 120 players in the field are under par through two rounds, and 74 were at 4 over par or better to make the 36-hole cut. The 4-over cut line equals the highest cut line this year (DEAN & DELUCA Invitational) and was second highest only to the Masters (6 over).
Daniel Summerhays continues to enjoy a run of good form. He hit 11 of 14 fairways and 17 of 18 greens in regulation, his 68 getting him to 6 under and four back. “I hit it better today than yesterday,” Summerhays said, “and I hit it really good yesterday. Just some putts sliding right past the edge.” Summerhays took 32 putts Friday.
Sung Kang, runner-up at the Shell Houston Open earlier this season, shot one of the best rounds of the day with a 1-under 69 in the toughest of the afternoon winds. This, despite hitting just six of 14 fairways. Kang got up and down four times in six chances, and is nine for 11 in scrambling to lead the field in that statistic.
Quicken Loans ambassador Rickie Fowler did not make a birdie Friday but hung tough to shoot 2-over 72 and make the cut at 2 over par. “It’s not far off from being really good,” said Fowler, who added he is looking forward to an early tee time Saturday. He’ll have to start hitting more fairways, having found the short grass just 13 times in 28 attempts through two rounds.
Justin Thomas, third in the FedExCup points race, shot a second-round 71 and at 5 over par will miss the cut for the second straight week. He made three birdies but also four bogeys Friday, and never quite recovered from the quadruple-bogey 9 he made at the 10th hole in round one.
Rickie Barnes shot 68, which was one of the best rounds of the afternoon wave as the wind picked up. “I think I hit every green on the back nine but 15,” Barnes said, “and I chipped it in. That’s what you’ve got to do out here.”
SHOT OF THE DAY
Shot of the Day
Ricky Barnes' chip-in birdie is the Shot of the Day
BEST OF SOCIAL MEDIA
That's just cruel. 🕳 pic.twitter.com/A01hTTMjGM— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) June 30, 2017