Golf: David Lingmerth leads lightning-delayed Barracuda

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David Lingmerth leads the first round of Barracuda Championship in Reno. The round will be completed early Friday due to weather.
Michael Smyth / Tahoe Onstage photos

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

Tyrone Van Aswegen, left, and Tommy Gainey celebrate Van Aswegen’s eagle at the par four 9th hole.
Michael Smyth / Tahoe Onstage photos

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South Korea’s Ho Sung Choi displays a unique swing at the Barracuda Championship’s opening round Thursday at Montreux Golf & Country Club.

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Robert Streb sits tied for second place in the opening round of the Barracuda Championship.

Roger Sloan hits his tee shot at the par four 14th hole in round one of the Barracuda Championship.

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Tommy “Two Gloves” Gainey drops a 20-foot putt for eagle at the par five 13th hole at the Barraucuda Championship.

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Former PGA Champion YE Yang racked up 12 points in the opening round of the Barracuda Championship.

Tyrone Van Aswegen is tied for second place with 13 points in the first round of the Barracuda Championship.

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The par four 6th hole at Montreux G&CC.

The par 4 ninth hole at Montreux.

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David Lingmerth leads the first round of Barracuda Championship in Reno, NV. The round will be completed early Friday due to weather
Tahoe Onstage photos by Michael Smyth

About Michael Smyth

Michael Smyth moved to Reno in 2007 after living more than 40 years in the Bay Area. In addition to going to live shows, he enjoys golf, skiing and fly-fishing. Check out his website https://michaelsmythmedia.com/

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