Lingmerth downs Rose in Memorial playoff

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David Lingmerth AFP PHOTO

David Lingmerth AFP PHOTO

DUBLIN: Sweden’s David Lingmerth downed Justin Rose with a par at the third playoff hole on Sunday (Monday in Manila) to win his first US PGA Tour title at the Memorial.

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Hours after 14-time major champion Tiger Woods wrapped up the worst-scoring tournament of his career with a lonely final round, Lingmerth and Rose took the tournament hosted by Jack Nicklaus the distance and beyond.

Both twice parred the 18th in the playoff before moving to the 10th for the third hole of sudden death. Lingmerth found the fairway while Rose was in the right rough, the 2010 Memorial winner from England firing out through the green and into the gallery. His chip left him 17 feet to the cup, while Lingmerth was on the green in two.

The Swede two-putted from 42 feet — draining his four-footer for par to seal the win.

“I was pretty calm and collected for the most part,” said Lingmerth, who had missed the cut in four of his prior five tournaments.

Lingmerth and Rose finished regulation tied on 15-under 273, Lingmerth closing with a three-under par 69.

Rose shook off an errant shot from a bunker that struck a spectator at the final hole of regulation, hanging on to make par and complete a 72 and force the playoff.

It was all of a piece with his late round — a bogey at 16 that saw him fall out of a share of the lead before he curled in a 10-footer at 17 to regain it.

“It was definitely a tricky day,” Rose said.

Italian Francesco Molinari, who led early and shared the lead through 15 holes, saw his challenge fade with a double bogey at 17. He carded a 71 for 275 that left him tied for third with Masters champion Jordan Spieth, whose 65 was the low round of the day.

Lingmerth and Rose returned to 18 to open the playoff, where Rose’s long par putt made a sharp left turn at the cup to drop, and Lingmerth holed a 10-footer to match him.

Lingmerth got up and down from a bunker to match Rose’s par at the second playoff hole—also 18.

Woods was long gone before the playoff drama unfolded, having teed off alone as the last-placed player in the field of 71 in the wake of his career worst 85 in the third round.

He posted a two-over 74 on Sunday that included playing the last two holes in three-over par with a bogey at 17 and a double bogey at the last.

The five-time winner of the Memorial finished with a 14-over par total of 302, his highest 72-hole total ever.

Woods, the 14-time major champion who has plunged to 172nd in the world, said he tried to approach the round like any other.

“Just because I’m in last place doesn’t change how I play golf,” he said. “Whether it’s the first day or last day doesn’t matter — play all out.”

AFP

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