Sweden’s David Lingmerth leads Quicken Loans National
Seamus Power off pace after opening 72 with Rickie Fowler five shots off first round lead
David Lingmerth leads by a shot after the opening round of the Quicken Loans National. Photograph: Shawn Thew/EPA
David Lingmerth is finding the TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm to his liking as a flying start lifted him into a slender lead after the opening round of the Quicken Loans National.
The Swede registered four birdies in his opening six holes — although he dropped a shot on his second — en route to a five under par 65 that has given him a one-shot advantage over six players.
Seamus Power however was well off the pace after an opening round of 72 - leaving him two over par.
The Maryland venue was the scene of Lingmerth’s win in an event on the developmental Web.com Tour five years ago and he admitted it is a course that holds happy memories.
He told the PGA Tour’s website: “Coming here it’s going to give me great feelings knowing I have won here. Design-wise the course is the exact same, it seems to suit my eye really well.
“It’s playing maybe a little bit different but look-wise it’s the exact same and I seem to like it.”
Lingmerth only missed a couple of fairways all day and some fine putting on the greens lifted him to the top of the leaderboard.
Starting on the back nine, he drove out of a bunker to within 12 feet on the opening hole before holding his nerve to sink the putt but immediately dropped back to level par after three-putting the par-four 11th.
But he then followed up a par with three successive birdies — the last of which featured a putt from near 20 feet on the 15th — while he reached the turn in 31 after a fabulous approach on the 18th left him with a simple tap-in.
His putter was proving red hot as he holed from 25 and 20 feet respectively on the first and fourth but his round ended on a sour note after he left himself with too much to do following a wayward tee-shot on the ninth.
American trio Troy Merritt, Johnson Wagner and Daniel Summerhays, plus Canada’s Nick Taylor, Sung Kang of South Korea and Australia’s Marc Leishman are all snapping at Lingmerth’s heels after carding four under par rounds.