David Lingmerth’s win over Justin Rose at the 2015 Memorial wasn’t spectacular, but it marked the first PGA Tour win for a guy not known for being in the spotlight.
As Kyle Porter at CBS Sports points out, Lingmerth’s previous claim to fame was playing beside Tiger Woods when Big Cat won the 2013 Players Championship. How ironic that Lingmerth’s best PGA Tour finish would come at the same tournament where Tiger had his worst? My, what a difference two years makes.
“I can’t believe it right now,” Lingmerth said following his win. “I’m so happy. I don’t know where to go.”
In a way, Tiger could have said the exact opposite. It is unbelievable where Tiger finished this week — thanks mainly to a career-worst 85 on Saturday — likely leaving the fallen legend to wonder where he should go now. The image of Tiger playing by himself off the first tee time Sunday morning was both eerie and depressing. He is truly alone on an island, if not just in his own mind.
What more can be written about what Tiger is going through with his game? This is not something that can be worked out on a driving range. Biomechanics are not to blame for his golfing woes. Improper downswing transition, chipping yips, or missed five-footers are merely symptoms of something much deeper. Sadly, only Tiger can find what that “something” is.
Lingmerth is on an entirely different career track. The Swede attacked Muirfield Village with confident recklessness, swiping through the golf ball like the years of hockey practice have ingrained in his muscle memory. His is a golf swing soaked in aggressive confidence with a dash of natural finesse. It might not be the prettiest action in the room, but it is a swing to which Lingmerth has remained loyal.
More importantly, Lingmerth’s swing remained loyal to him when it mattered most. It appears there are more polar opposites between Tiger and Lingmerth than just their position on the leaderboard.