It takes a lot for a Swedish national to pass up playing in the Nordea Masters. The Swedes love their native sons and support golf passionately.
After one round at The Memorial in Muirfield however, it appears that Sweden’s David Lingmerth is making the right choice this weekend.
Lingmerth fired a 7-under 65 to tie Jason Dufner for the 18-hole lead. Thirty-four players shot at least 1 stroke under par on Thursday, including Jordan Spieth, a shot back at 6-under after finishing in second place a week ago at the Colonial in Fort Worth.
Lingmerth came out with guns blazing, shooting a front nine 31 and putting in four straight birdies between No. 5 and No. 8. He struggled a bit on the back nine with two birdies matched by two bogeys then eagled No. 15. The Swede previously won here in 2015.
Dufner is after his second PGA title in the past 18 months. His last win was the CareerBuilder Challenger in January 2016; a tournament he won, rather ironically, in a playoff over Lingmerth. Dufner also shot a 31 on the front nine thanks to two birdies and an eagle on No. 7. He would have had the lead outright but he bogeyed No. 18, his only blemish of the day.
Spieth took the course by storm and as 8-under through 15 before reverting back to human form and bogeying No. 17 and 18 to drop back a stroke.
Last year’s champion ,William McGirt, is tied for 26th at 1-under.