Korn Ferry Tour: First-Round Notes: Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship

David Lingmerth

First-Round Notes – Thursday, August 25, 2022

Course Setup: Ohio State University Golf Club – Scarlet Course (Par 71 / 7,444 yards)

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David Lingmerth breaks course record, leads by three

COLUMBUS, Ohio – There were seven 8-under 63s recorded at Ohio State University Golf Club’s Scarlet Course since the inception of the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship in 2007, but no one dipped below the course record until Thursday’s first round. David Lingmerth, a native of Tranas, Sweden who played collegiately at University of Arkansas, opened the second Korn Ferry Tour Finals event with a 9-under 62 for a three-stroke lead on the field.

Lingmerth birdied his first two holes and added two more at the par-5 fourth and sixth. The 35-year-old past PGA TOUR winner proceeded to birdie the first three holes of the back nine, an impressive feat given the fact the par-4 10th and 11th were the two toughest holes relative to par of the opening round. Lingmerth added birdies at the par-4 14th and 16th to his bogey-free scorecard.

“It was really nice, boring golf,” Lingmerth said. “Struck the ball really well and got some putts to go in. It was nothing really to exciting all day. I missed the green after hitting in the rough on No. 15 and had to get it up and down for par, but other than that I felt like I was in pretty good control of what was going on all day. Hit a few good long irons into some of the pins today, and the greens were pretty receptive, so I wasn’t necessarily trying to be super aggressive, but today was definitely a day you could and I was able to hit a few close and take advantage of it.”

While the Scarlet Course traditionally played as one of the five toughest courses on the Korn Ferry Tour since the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship debuted in 2007, including when it was the No. 1 toughest course relative to par in 2014, last year’s event saw record-breaking scores as a result of softer conditions from early-week rain. Last weekend brought nearly three inches of rain, once again leaving the Scarlet Course slightly more receptive than usual.

Lingmerth’s course-record score, however, came on a day when the Scarlet Course held its own and played just a tenth of a stroke under par.

“It’s a great golf course,” Lingmerth said. “It’s always a good test. When you’re coming here, you know you’re going to get a good week of golf.”

Lingmerth has essentially split time between the Korn Ferry Tour and PGA TOUR since 2019 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 at TPC Potomac 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.

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.

“I feel like I’ve been making steady progress all summer, but it’s never really wanted to show up on the scorecard,” Lingmerth said. “This is the type of day we all want. These are the days we’re practicing for. But it’s Thursday, so we’ve got three more days this week and I’m hoping to get more of this type of golf this week.”

Lingmerth also has another notable tie to the state of Ohio. His uncle, Goran Lingmerth, was a kicker for both the Philadelphia Eagles and Cleveland Browns in 1987 amid a players strike. Goran appeared in one game for the Browns.

“He had like six knee surgeries and eventually they said if you want to live a life after football, you might want to hang it up,” Lingmerth said of his uncle, who went on to become a sales rep for Ping and operated out of Florida. “He gave me a set of golf clubs when I was 12. I played with a junior set before that, but he gave me my first Ping set. I remember it was a set of Ping i3s. Orange dot, a little bit flat. Worked perfectly for me. I had the little junior set that took me to about 11 handicap. Then the next year these Ping clubs got me to under five and the next year I might have been scratch.”

Second-round tee times will run from 7:20 a.m. through 2:26 p.m. local time off the first and 10th tees.

First-Round Notes

  • Making his 95th career Korn Ferry Tour start, David Lingmerth (1st / -9) holds his first 18-hole lead in a Korn Ferry Tour event; his previous career-high standing through 18 holes in a Korn Ferry Tour event was T2 at the 2012 United Leasing Championship, which now operates the Korn Ferry Tour Championship presented by United Leasing & Finance
  • Lingmerth held two 18-hole leads or co-leads on the PGA TOUR, as he was T1 at the 2017 Memorial Tournament presented by Workday (finished T15) and held the outright lead at the 2017 Quicken Loans National (finished T5), which was held at TPC Potomac
  • Jared Wolfe (T2 / -6), a graduating member of the Korn Ferry Tour Class of 2020-21, missed the cut at this event in last year’s Korn Ferry Tour Finals
  • There were 13 bogey-free rounds recorded Thursday, including a 3-under 68 by Ohio State University alum and Akron native Ryan Armour (T17) and a 2-under 69 by Ohio State University alum and Columbus native Bo Hoag (T34)
  • Brandon Hagy (T2 / -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 (T83 / +1), a past PGA TOUR winner and member of The 25 this season
  • 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

First-Round Course Statistics

  • Scoring Average (Total – Par 71): 70.864 [-0.136]
  • Scoring Average (Front Nine – Par 36): 35.836 [-0.164]
  • Scoring Average (Back Nine – Par 35): 35.029 [+0.029]
  • Toughest Hole: No. 11, Par 4, 473 yards – 4.171 [+0.171]
  • Easiest Hole: No. 12, Par 5, 562 yards – 4.414 [-0.586]