The Year of the Swede: David Lingmerth


The PGA Tour has been going through a “changing of the guard” the past few years. With the steady decline of the game’s biggest names, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson in particular, a new wave of talent has emerged. Among them is Swedish born David Lingmerth. The Arkansas University grad has had a pretty successful 2015 campaign, and he could just be getting started.

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Lingmerth has nine top 10 finishes so far in his young career. After turning pro in 2010, Lingmerth quickly earned his stripes on the tour. His 5 top 10 finishes in 2011 were good enough to place him 27th on the money list that year. 2012 brought more success and more money! Lingmerth scored his first professional victory when he won the Neediest Kids Championship in October of that year. He finished in 10th position on the money list, and his success that year earned him PGA Tour card for 2013.

The pride of Tranas, Sweden didn’t waste any time turning heads on the PGA Tour. In just his second career start, Lingmerth lost in a playoff with Brian Gay and Charles Howell at the Humana Challenge. Later on that season in the star-studded field at TPC Sawgrass, Lingmerth again finished runner-up. His final score of 11 under par was a record for a rookie at the event. Lingmerth had a share of the lead before shooting an even par 72 on Sunday. But it was clear that the talent, and intestinal fortitude were present in the young European.

After 2 top 10 finishes in 2014, Lingmerth has enjoyed his breakout season so far in 2015. With 4 top 10 finishes so far, Lingmerth sits 20th position on the FedEx Cup rankings. Lingmerth displayed some of the aforementioned fortitude when he earned his 1st career PGA victory at the Memorial. Lingmerth defeated Justin Rose on the 3rd hole of a sudden death playoff when he sank a 6 foot par putt. This came after losing the 36 hole lead to the veteran Rose. Maintaining your composure with one of the worlds best players breathing down your neck is no easy feat.

Sky Sports took notice last week when Lingmerth surfaced as an early leader at the PGA Championship, another sign of his emergence as a player who’s going to be in the mix.

For all the good, there’s always some bad. And with Lingmerth it’s his inconsistency. That win at the Memorial was precluded with 4 out of 5 missed cuts. Lingmerth has missed the cut in over 40% of the tournaments he’s played in as a pro. Of the 41 cuts that he has made, he’s placed top 25 finishes in half of them. The Swede seems to be an all or nothing kind of player.

Jun 7, 2015; Dublin, OH, USA; Jack Nicklaus and David Lingmerth pose with the trophy after the playoff round of the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

In terms of his game, Lingmerth reminds me of a lesser version of Jordan Speith, no offense. Lingmerth isn’t particularly long of the tee at 290 yard a pop. That’s only good for 88th on tour (, but he makes up for it with world class accuracy. He’s 10th in the world in total driving efficiency, and finding the short grass outweighs bombing the ball every day of the week.

When Lingmerth does get on the green, he’s one of the world’s best on a consistent basis. He’s 19th in putting average and 14th in 3-putt avoidance, or as I call them, “round killers.” His inconsistency and nerves take over a bit on Sundays though, something he will have to conquer if he plans on hoisting more trophies in the future. Lingmerth is 126th on tour in putts per round in the 4th round. This stat only reflects how young and raw Lingmerth really is. Expect that number to go down as the Swede gets used to seeing his name on leader boards on Sunday’s.

Lingmerth is one of a slew of young guns setting the PGA Tour on fire in recent years. His accuracy and short game might just put him at a level above the rest.

Next: 10 Best Golfers Without a Major

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