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“The visible effect made on a surface by pressure”

David Lingmerth breaks 36-hole tournament scoring record, doubles lead at Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship

David Lingmerth followed a course-record 9-under 62 with a 5-under 66 in Friday’s second round of the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship, extending his lead to six strokes. Lingmerth’s 14-under 128 is notable because it broke the 36-hole tournament scoring record by three strokes, and because only three past champions of the event finished at least 14-under par.

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It is the second 36-hole lead in Lingmerth’s 95 career starts on the Korn Ferry Tour, with his previous lead being a one-stroke advantage through 36 holes of the 2012 Neediest Kids Championship at TPC Potomac, which he eventually closed out for his only Korn Ferry Tour victory. Lingmerth also held two 36-hole leads on the PGA TOUR, as he eventually closed out the 2015 Memorial Tournament presented by Workday in nearby Dublin, Ohio, but settled T5 at the 2017 Quicken Loans National, which was contested at TPC Potomac and marked Lingmerth’s last top-10 in PGA TOUR-sanctioned play.

“I should play a lot more tournaments around here, that would be good for me,” Lingmerth jested. “It’s a good spot… with Memorial and U.S. Open qualifiers, yeah, this course has been pretty good to me as well.”

Lingmerth’s six-stroke lead is the largest 36-hole lead on the Korn Ferry Tour since Dylan Wu led the 2020 The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay by seven strokes (although he ultimately finished T2). It also ties the third-largest 36-hole lead in Korn Ferry Tour history, only behind Wu’s aforementioned lead in 2020, and Steve Wheatcroft’s seven-stroke lead at the 2011 Melwood Prince George’s County Open, which he eventually won by a Korn Ferry Tour-record 12 strokes.

The only players in history to finish the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship at 14-under par or better were: 2011 champion Harris English (14-under), 2017 champion Peter Uihlein (14-under), and last year’s champion Adam Svensson (17-under) and co-runners-up Stephan Jaeger and Bronson Burgoon (both 15-under).

“I haven’t been paying too much attention to the board. I know obviously a great round yesterday and a solid round today, but there’s a lot of birdies to be had out there,” Lingmerth said. “I’m going to try to keep the same approach for the weekend and we’ll see where we end up.”

The 35-year-old native of Tranas, Sweden once again made easy work of the difficult back nine, making birdies on three of his first four holes (Nos. 10, 12, 13) and back-to-back birdies at the par-4 15th and 16th. The University of Arkansas alum added three more birdies on the front side (Nos. 1, 2, 7), running his total up to a field-leading 17 birdies. No other player in the field has more than 12 thus far.

The only Achilles heel for Lingmerth through two rounds proved to be the par 3s at Ohio State University Golf Club’s Scarlet Course. Lingmerth bogeyed all three of them (Nos. 5, 8, 17) Friday morning.

“I don’t know what was going on there,” Lingmerth said. “Some bogeys that I feel like could have been avoided, but, you know, we try our best.”

Lingmerth has essentially split time between the Korn Ferry Tour and PGA TOUR since 2019, his play slumping mostly as a result of battling nagging injuries, and is making his third Korn Ferry Tour Finals appearance since 2018. Lingmerth’s Finals appearance this year stems from a No. 193 finish on the 2021-22 FedExCup Eligibility Points List.

Lingmerth left Sweden for the University of West Florida, an NCAA Division II program in Pensacola, Florida, where he played for one season. Lingmerth transferred to Arkansas and played his final three seasons there, eventually turning professional in 2010. Lingmerth played the Korn Ferry Tour in 2011, finishing 27th on the money list and two spots shy of a PGA TOUR card.

The following year, Lingmerth won the 2012 Neediest Kids Championship and finished 10th on the money list for his first PGA TOUR card. Lingmerth enjoyed immediate success as a TOUR rookie, posting a pair of runner-up finishes in 2013.

A season later, Lingmerth finished just outside the FedExCup Playoffs, sending him to the 2014 Korn Ferry Tour Finals. A pair of top-10s and a T14 at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship sent him back up to the PGA TOUR as a member of The Finals 25. Lingmerth’s career breakthrough came in June 2015, when he won the Memorial Tournament presented by Workday in nearby Dublin, Ohio; he was the 118th man on the priority ranking for the 120-player field. Lingmerth finished the 2014-15 season 37th in the FedExCup, barely missing out on a trip to the TOUR Championship.

“I remember quite a bit from that tournament,” Lingmerth said of his win at nearby Muirfield Village Golf Club. “When you have fun weeks like that, you kind of try to put those in the memory bank. I think it was my dad’s birthday the day I won. Jack [Nicklaus] found out and when I had my parents on the phone, he was nice enough to come over and grab the phone for a few seconds.”

Lingmerth made another pair of FedExCup Playoffs appearances in 2015-16 and 2016-17 before playing the bulk of the last five seasons on TOUR with conditional status.

“With the status I’ve had the last few years, just scheduling has been so tricky,” Lingmerth said. “Not knowing where you’re going or when you’re going to get the call… you’re not allowed to like take breaks because you’re that close to getting into tournaments, so you’ve kind of got to be ready to go because you have to go. Scheduling’s been a really, really hard.”

A victory would solidify a place in The Finals 25 for Lingmerth, which would put him in a far better position to start the 2022-23 PGA TOUR season than continuing to play as a past champion. However, Lingmerth was reluctant to approach the Korn Ferry Tour Finals with a do-or-die mentality.

“I’ve played out of that category the last few years, so I know I’m going to get starts either way. That’s kind of a nice feeling, I guess,” Lingmerth said. “I’m trying to not be too urgent about it, but obviously having a chance to improve your status for the next year, it’s very big, yeah.”

Third-round pairings will run from 7 a.m. through 1:20 p.m. local time off the first tee.

Second-Round Notes

  • David Lingmerth (1st / -14) broke the 36-hole tournament scoring record of 11-under 131 previous established by John Peterson (2011) and Trevor Murphy (2012)
  • Lingmerth holds the eighth 36-hole lead of six-plus strokes in Korn Ferry Tour history; five of the previous seven players who held such a lead went on to win
    • Steve Wheatcroft – 7-stroke lead at 2011 Melwood Prince George’s County Open (won by 12)
    • Dylan Wu – 7-stroke lead at 2020 The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay (finished T2)
    • Joe Durant – 6-stroke lead at 1996 Shreveport Open (finished solo-second)
    • David Sutherland – 6-stroke lead at 2001 Utah Championship presented by Zions Bank (won by one stroke)
    • D.A. Points – 6-stroke lead at 2004 Pete Dye West Virginia Classic (won by five strokes)
    • Kevin Na – 6-stroke lead at 2006 Mark Christopher Charity Classic (won by three strokes)
    • Aaron Wise – 6-stroke lead at 2017 Wichita Open Benefitting KU Wichita Pediatrics (won by five strokes)
  • Ben Martin (T2 / -8) carded the low round of the day with an 8-under 63, a score which would have tied the course record were it not for Lingmerth’s 9-under 62 in the first round
  • Joseph Bramlett (T2 / -8) finished No. 1 in The Finals 25 last year, which earned him fully exempt status this past PGA TOUR season and an exemption for the 2022 PLAYERS Championship
  • Brandon Hagy (T9 / -6) captured medalist honors at the 2013 Jack Nicklaus Invitational, a collegiate event hosted by Ohio State University and contested on the Scarlet Course; he also helped University of California-Berkeley win the team title that week alongside teammate Michael Kim (T55 / -1), a past PGA TOUR winner and member of The 25 this season
  • Only three players who secured PGA TOUR cards during the regular season stand inside the top 10: Zecheng Dou (T2 / -8), Kevin Roy (T7 / -7), and Paul Haley II (T9 / -6)
  • Justin Lower (T9 / -6), a native of Akron who plays from Canal Fulton and played collegiately at Malone University, leads the players with ties to the state of Ohio; he finished No. 25 in last year’s Finals 25 to secure his first PGA TOUR card
  • Other notables with Ohio ties include Ohio State University alum and Columbus native Bo Hoag (T16 / -5) and Ohio State University alum and Akron native Ryan Armour (T40 / -2)
  • The Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship is the second tournament of the three-event Korn Ferry Tour Finals, which conclude with the Korn Ferry Tour Championship presented by United Leasing & Finance (September 1-4)
  • This week’s purse is $1,000,000, with $180,000 going to the champion; the champion will also receive 1,000 Korn Ferry Tour points

Second-Round Course Statistics

  • Scoring Average (Total – Par 71): 70.730 [-0.270]
  • Scoring Average (Front Nine – Par 36): 35.825 [-0.175]
  • Scoring Average (Back Nine – Par 35): 34.905 [-0.095]
  • Toughest Hole: No. 11, Par 4, 473 yards – 4.277 [+0.277]
  • Easiest Hole: No. 12, Par 5, 562 yards – 4.241 [-0.759]

 

Cumulative Course Statistics

  • Scoring Average (Total – Par 71): 70.797 [-0.203]
  • Scoring Average (Front Nine – Par 36): 35.830 [-0.170]
  • Scoring Average (Back Nine – Par 35): 34.967 [-0.033]
  • Toughest Hole: No. 11, Par 4, 473 yards – 4.224 [+0.224]
  • Easiest Hole: No. 12, Par 5, 562 yards – 4.329 [-0.671]

Leaderboard

Pos.

Name

Scores

1

David Lingmerth

62-66—128 (-14)

T2

Michael Gligic

67-67—134 (-8)

Ben Martin

71-63—134 (-8)

Joseph Bramlett

66-68—134 (-8)

Jonathan Byrd

68-66—134 (-8)

Zecheng Dou

67-67—134 (-8)