The 20th edition of the Barracuda Championship tees off this week at Montrêux Golf and Country Club in western Nevada – located about midway between Reno and Lake Tahoe.
Founded 19 years ago as an alternate event to the WGC Bridgestone Invitational, and originally titled the Reno–Tahoe Open, the Barracuda is the only PGA Tour event which uses a Modified Stableford scoring system, or better known as points.
The ‘Cuda is one of four alternate tournaments on the PGA Tour’s schedule, with the others being: Sanderson Farms (WGC HSBC), Puerto Rico (WGC Dell), and Barbasol (British Open).
As an alternate tournament, the field is weaker, the purse is smaller, and the winnings are not quite as impressive (less money, and no Masters invite).
With that said, it still is a PGA Tour event, and it is one of the most exciting professional golf events to watch.
Tournament: Barracuda Championship
Managed By: PGA Tour
Title Sponsor: Barracuda Networks
Dates: August 2-5, 2018
Course: Montrêux Golf & Country Club
Where: Reno, Nevada
Vitals: 7,472 yards, par-72
Architect: Jack Nicklaus (1997)
Format: 132 players, Stableford, 72 holes/36 hole cut
Winning Share: $612,000/300 FedExCup/24 OWGR
Defending: Chris Stroud
Recent Winners: Greg Chalmers (2016), J. J. Henry (2015), Geoff Ogilvy (2014), Gary Woodland (2013), J. J. Henry (2012), Scott Piercy (2011)
Marquee Players: Beau Hossler, JJ Spaun, Aaron Baddeley, Harris English, Billy Hurley III, Richy Werenski, Tom Lovelady, Ryan Palmer, Sam Saunders, Ollie Schniederjans, Kevin Tway, Kevin Streelman, Wesley Bryan, Graeme McDowell, David Duval, Stuart Appleby, Mike Weir, Geoff Ogilvy, Retief Goosen, Bill Haas, Padraig Harrington, Hunter Mahan
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The Jack Nicklaus-designed Montrêux Golf & Country Club has been the host course since the tournament’s inception. Surrounded by snow-capped mountains, tall Nevada pines and some of the most pristine conditions on the PGA Tour, Montrêux is a favorite stop for fans, golfers, and media alike.
Featuring a number of drops in elevation, with breathtaking views, Montrêux is spread out across 7,500 yards of beautiful Nevada real estate, with its fairways outlined by towering pine trees and crossing flowing streams.
Nicklaus himself considers Montrêux one of his top five golf courses.
Chris Stroud exploded for 20 points in Sunday’s final round at Montreux Golf and Country Club to finish with 44 points, and a share of the lead at the Barracuda Championship.
On the second playoff hole, Stroud beat rookie Richy Werenski with a birdie to capture his first victory on the PGA Tour.
Greg Owen, who also finished with 44 points, was eliminated on the first extra hole.
Afterwards, Stroud said that he put an old flat stick (a counter-balanced long putter) back in his bag, and cited it as a reason for his improved play.
“It just really helps me release the putter,” said Stroud, who won on his 290th PGA Tour start. “And when it does that, it keeps me very still. At the end of the day, I played beautifully. I had some really nice little bounces that I hadn’t been getting in the last few weeks and capitalized on them, made some good birdies.”
The win earned Stroud $630,000 and 300 FedEx Cup points. It moved him from 144 up to No. 76 in the standings.
FINAL TOP 5
1 Chris Stroud 44
2 Greg Owen 44
3 Richy Werenski 44
4 Tom Hoge 41
4 Stuart Appleby 41
The Nevada field is generally comprised of veterans on the career-downside, a bunch of up-and-comers, and a sprinkling of players who will actually be part of the FedEx Cup playoffs.
The defending champion is Chris Stroud, who rode a hot putter in the final round to his first career victory, and a last minute invite to the PGA Championship.
Those already locked in for the upcoming FedExCup playoffs, and looking for better positioning, are Beau Hossler (33), JJ Spaun (53), Andrew Putnam (55), Kevin Streelman (59), and Joel Dahmen (61).
Players on the outside of the top 125, and needing a bump for the playoffs, include Ben Crane (141), Graeme McDowell (143), Bill Haas (145), Wesley Bryan (154), Shane Lowry (159), and Stroud (160).
Marquee names from the past include former stars such as Hunter Mahan, David Duval, Retief Goosen, Geoff Ogilvy, and Stuart Appleby.
Betting favorites are Dahmen (16-1), Lowry (20-1), Richy Werenski (20-1), and Streelman (25-1).
Young guns in the field are led by Werenski, Sam Saunders, Ollie Schniederjans, Hossler, and Tom Lovelady.
FULL FIELD & ODDS
Barracuda Championship | Montrêux Golf & CC, Reno, NV | Aug 2-5, 2018
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Photo Credits: Getty Images