Lingmerth leads star-studded field

Sweden’s David Lingmerth hit a second-round 65 to take a one-shot lead at the halfway stage of the Memorial Tournament in Ohio.

Reigning Masters champion Jordan Spieth remains in contention as he sits five strokes behind, while Tiger Woods just avoided the cut as he followed up his first-round 73 with a 70.

Overnight leaders Hideki Matsuyama and Bo Van Pelt dropped down to tied fifth and tied 10th respectively after the former hit a 71 and the latter finished with a 72.

Lingmerth, who first rose to prominence when he lost in a play-off at the 2013 Humana Challenge in only the second PGA Tour start of his career, began his bogey-free round with a six successive pars before breaking that streak with a hat-trick of birdies from the seventh to the ninth. His birdie on the eighth was most impressive though as he sunk a 27-foot putt.

Following consecutive pars on the 10th and 11th, Lingmerth went on to make four more birdies on the 12th, 14th, 16th and 18th. Just like on his front nine, there was one birdie that stood out amongst the rest as he made a 29-foot putt on the 16th.

“I started giving myself some opportunities and the putts started dropping in,” Lingmerth said.

“All of a sudden I just started playing the way I know I can.”

Sitting one stroke behind Lingmerth is Jason Dufner, who recorded a second-round 67.

Dufner began on a high as he made a birdie on the 11th before faltering on the very next hole when he registered a double bogey as his second shot went into the water.

However, he recovered from the setback with a birdie on the 13th, an eagle on the par-five 15th and an incredible 201-yard hole-in-one on the par-three 16th with his 6-iron. His luck dipped slightly after that as he made bogey on 17th after missing a four-foot putt.

Following his highly entertaining front nine, Dufner enjoyed a relatively quiet back nine as it only consisted of two birdies on the first and third.

“I’m hitting it really good,” Dufner said. “I’m having enough good holes, good shots, to offset some of the mistakes I’ve had.”

Two shots behind Lingmerth is England’s Andy Sullivan and American Ryan Moore, who hit a 64 and 67 respectively.

Former major champions Justin Rose and Jim Furyk are just three strokes back, Rose after a 67 and Furyk thanks to a 66.