David Lingmerth needs a big push to close out the 2019 PGA Tour season. Sitting at 226th on the FedExCup points list, a win may be necessary to continue his campaign with just two weeks before the playoffs begin.
Lingmerth’s first round total of 18 points in the Barracuda Championship’s opening round Thursday at Montreux Golf & Country Club has him on top by five points in the modified Stableford scoring format. The first round was suspended due to lightning with a dozen or so groups on the course and will be completed Friday morning.
Despite a missed cut at the Barbasol Championship last week in Kentucky, a second round 63, showed that maybe he’d turned the corner on a tough year.
“It’s kind of weird to shoot 63 on a Friday and miss the cut. But any time you shoot a 63 you’re doing something right. I had a lot of good things to bring with me from that round,” said Lingmerth.
The Barracuda’s format puts a premium on aggressive play where birdies are rewarded more than bogeys are punished. A birdie adds three points while a bogey only subtracts one point.
Tommy “Two Gloves” Gainey pretty much ran the table on the scoring system in a topsy-turvey Round 1. Gainey, who gained notoriety as a contestant on Golf Channel’s “The Big Break” with his quirky swing and golf gloves on both hands, also gained fans with his determination and self-belief on the show.
Gainey’s aggressive style was rewarded with his first career PGA Tour ace at the par-three 7th (good for an eagle and five points), and an eagle at the par-five 11th hole for another five points. He mixed in birdies, bogey’s, a double bogey (minus three points) to sit tied for 11th place with nine points.
“Well, my game’s always been aggressive. So the point system here fits me to a “T.” “I just gotta hit it a little better tomorrow and putt it a little better and I’ll have a bunch of points instead of just nine,” said a smiling Gainey.
Tom Hoge led the afternoon wave with 13 points, good for a tie for second place, in some unusually hot and sticky conditions reminiscent of the World Golf Championship event being concurrently played in Memphis. Hoge has had success in the Barracuda with a pair of top-10 finishes.
Also sitting at 13 points is Tyrone Van Aswegen, who holed his second shot for eagle at the par four 9th hole, and Robert Streb who racked up seven birdies against only one bogey.
Notes: Montreux resident Ollie Osborne played his first career PGA Tour round at the BC fishing T-68 with three points. … John Daly carded minus 2 points despite being granted the ability to ride in a cart rather than walk the very hilly Montreux G&CC. … Multiple BC winner JJ Henry opened with minus 1 points. … Somersett GC Director of Golf Stuart Smith, who will complete his first round Friday, sits at four points thru 12 holes.
— Michael Smyth