Quicken Loans National Opens Play With Lackluster First Round

Story By: Erin Zollars

Photos By: Benjamin Rogers Jr.

Potomac, MD–

Today was the start of a weekend of, well, golf from TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm. Yea, that is a mouthful to handle, as is this golf course for some of the players.

While the name has changed since 2006 when the tournament was last here, it seems no different, with some of the bigger names like Rickie Fowler failing to really get their game going. Lets hope he doesn’t miss the cut, as he is one of the more popular players on tour. Many will also follow Billy Hurley II, as he tries to defend his 2016 title.

Fowler shot a so-so even-par 70 that left him five off the lead, and Justin Thomas ejected with a 4-over 74 that will leave him hunting for the cut line on Friday.

David Lingmerth, 29, began his round on the back nine, where he made four birdies in his first six holes, including three in a row from the 14th through 15th holes. By the time he made it to the par-3 ninth (his 18th), he had added three more without dropping a shot to get to six-under. That’s when he flinched, missing the green with his tee shot and making his only bogey of the day.

While Lingmerth hasn’t finished inside the top-10 once this season, he’s put together a solid stretch in recent months. After missing two straight cuts in April, he’s played the weekend seven tournaments in a row and finished inside the top-25 in five of those. It’s his fourth appearance in the event, where he finished in solo third in 2015.

“I feel like that’s kind of one of my strengths, a thing I pride myself in, hitting a lot of fairways,” Lingmerth said. “I like this type of golf course when you can see the definition, you can zone in on your targets. You’ve really got to stay committed off the tee.”

He won the 2015 Memorial Tournament for his lone PGA Tour title.

Troy Merritt, the winner two years ago at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club, was a stroke back along with Marc Leishman, Johnson Wagner, Sung Kang, Nick Taylor and Daniel Summerhays.

The real big talk of the week is with the absence of Tiger Woods even as a host, will this tournament make it into next year? With the the shifting schedule and inability to keep it at Congressional each year has made it tough. Some players just downright do not want to play TPC Potomac, even with the redesign.

The numbers over the weekend will set the tone of what may come for the future of the Quicken Loans Open, who the CEO of Quicken Loans has hinted that he would like to see the tournament come back to its home in Michigan, but that has yet to be determined if Woods is in or out, if the could happen.

 

1
David Lingmerth
-5 -5 18
T2
Nick Taylor
-4 -4 18
T2
Daniel Summerhays
-4 -4 18
T2
Johnson Wagner
-4 -4 18
T2
Marc Leishman

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