David Lingmerth has an advantage on the rest of the field in the Quicken Loans National at TPC Potomac at Avenal Farm in Potomac, Md., where the tournament is being played for the first time. He’s not only played the course, but won there.
The 29-year-old Lingmerth, whose only PGA Tour victory came in the 2015 Memorial Tournament, shot 5-under-par 65 in the first round to take a one-stroke lead over Marc Leishman of Australia, Troy Merritt, Johnson Wagner, Sung Kang of South Korea, Nick Taylor of Canada and Daniel Summerhays.
“Obviously, I came here with great feelings, knowing I won here on the Web,” said Lingmerth, who captured the Neediest Kids Championship on the 2012 Web.com Tour at TPC Potomac. “The course is playing faster and plays a little different, but the look is the same.
“One of the big keys on this course is the rough is very penal and you have to stay in the fairway to give yourself birdie opportunities, and I was able to do that. … 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.”
Lingmerth started on the back nine and birdied four of the first six holes, added three birdies through No. 4 and had a two-stroke lead before missing an eight-foot birdie putt on his final hole.
Merritt, who won the Quicken Loans National two years ago at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Gainesville, Va., holed a 17-foot birdie putt on the 15th hole while shooting a 66 that was matched by Leishman, Wagner, Kang, Taylor and Summerhays.
James Hahn of Cal and Alameda sank a 19-foot putt on the 14th hole en route to a 67 and is tied for eighth with Bryson DeChambeau of Clovis, Patrick Reed, Geoff Ogilvie of Australia, Martin Laird of Scotland, Zac Blair and Russell Henley.
Ninth-ranked Rickie Fowler is tied for 32nd at 70 and defending champion Billy Hurley III is tied for 84th at 73.