David Ling­merth in the lead at Me­mo­rial

The China Post - - SPORTS -

Swe­den’s David Ling­merth f i red seven birdies in a seven- un­der 65 on Fri­day to grab the half­way lead at the Me­mo­rial as five-time cham­pion Tiger Woods scram­bled to make the cut on the num­ber.

Ling­merth’s 12-un­der to­tal of 132 gave him a one-shot lead over Ohio na­tive Ja­son Dufner, who carded a 67 for 133.

Ling­merth ig­nited his round with three straight birdies at seven, eight and nine. His four birdies com­ing in in­cluded both of the parthrees.

“I started giv­ing my­self op­por­tu­ni­ties and the putts started drop­ping in,” said the Swede, who is seek­ing a first U.S. PGA Tour ti­tle.

Dufner, a for­mer U. S. PGA Cham­pi­onship win­ner, had back- to-back ea­gles, in­clud­ing a hole in one at the par-three 16th — help­ing him bounce back from a dou­ble-bo­gey five at the par-three 12th.

“I’m hit­ting it re­ally good,” said Dufner, who showed signs of life with a tie for eighth at the By­ron Nel­son Cham­pi­onship for his first top-10 fin­ish on U.S. soil in a year. “I’m hav­ing enough good holes, good shots, to off­set some of the mis­takes I’ve had.”

It was a fur­ther stroke back to Eng­land’s Andy Sul­li­van, whose sparkling eight-un­der 64 was the low round of the day. He had eight birdies to vault into a tie for third with Amer­i­can Ryan Moore, who signed for a 67.

De­fend­ing cham­pion Hideki Mat­suyama, who shared the overnight lead, carded a 71 that left him shar­ing fifth on 135 with five other play­ers, a group that in­cluded Eng­land’s Justin Rose and Italy’s Francesco Molinari.

Woods, mean­while, had to sink a testing six-foot par putt at the 18th to se­cure his week­end spot in the field.

The 14-time ma­jor cham­pion, who has fallen to 172nd in the world, started strong in his bid to re­bound from a first-round 73 with three birdies in the first four holes.

But his trou­bles off the tee caught up with him on the back nine, where two more birdies were out­num­bered by three bo­geys, in­clud­ing late stum­bles at the 16th and 17th.

He signed for a two-un­der par 70 for a one-un­der to­tal of 143 — tied for 64th.

“I just need to put my­self in po­si­tion so those putts are to win tour­na­ments, not to make cuts,” he said of his par-sav­ing ef­fort at the last.

He had to con­vert a sim­i­lar par putt to make the cut at the Play­ers Cham­pi­onship last month.

Woods, play­ing his fifth tour­na­ment of a sea­son in which he took time off to work on his game af­ter a dis­mal start, said he needs to play more.

Through two rounds he has hit nine fair­ways, and he hit just eight greens in reg­u­la­tion in the sec­ond round.

Putting proved key as he made 24 putts — plus one from off a green.

“I didn’t drive it very good again,” said Woods, who is still work­ing on swing changes with the U.S. Open com­ing up in a fort­night.

“I feel like to­day I made some progress from yes­ter­day,” Woods added. “And now I need to go work on it again and I’ll make some progress to­mor­row. And keep do­ing that and hope­fully it will all come to­gether this week­end.

“And if not, two weeks from now.”

AP

Swe­den’s David Ling­merth watches his ap­proach shot on the ninth hole dur­ing the sec­ond round of the Me­mo­rial golf tour­na­ment in Dublin, Ohio on Fri­day, June 5.

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