2021 Barracuda Championship Primer: History, TV, Field, Odds

Barracuda Championship
Troy Merritt and Robert Streb prepare to putt on the 18th green during the final round of the Barracuda Championship at Montreux CC on July 28, 2019 in Reno, Nevada. (Photo by Marianna Massey via Getty Images)

The 23rd edition of the Barracuda Championship tees off this week at Tahoe Mountain Club’s Old Greenwood course in northeast California – nestled amid the mountains of Lake Tahoe.

Founded 22 years ago as an alternate event to the then 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: Corales (WGC-Match Play), Puerto Rico (WGC-Workday), 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.

The Skinny

Event: Barracuda Championship
Managed By: PGA Tour
Title Sponsor: Barracuda Networks
Dates: Aug 5-8, 2021
Course: Tahoe Mt. Club (Old Greenwood)
Where: Truckee, CA
Vitals: 7,518 yards, par-72
Architect: Jack Nicklaus
Field: 132 players
Format: Stableford
Purse: $3,500,000
Winning Share: $630,000
Points: 300 FedEx, 24 OWGR
2020 Winner: Richy Werenski
Marquee Players: Branden Grace, Emiliano Grillo, Gary Woodland, Ryan Moore, Gary Woodland, Aaron Wise, Maverick McNealy, Brandt Snedeker, Matt Kuchar, Pat Perez

How to Follow the Barracuda Championship

Andrew Putnam putts on the 18th green during the final round of the Barracuda Championship at Montreux Country Club on August 5, 2018 in Reno, Nevada. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

TELEVISION: Thu-Fri: 10 a.m.-12 p.m. (GOLF Channel); Sat-Sun: 6-9 p.m. (GOLF Channel)

LINKS: Website | Facebook | Instagram

Stableford Points Structure

This week’s Barracuda Championship is the only PGA TOUR event that uses the Modified Stableford scoring format, which encourages aggressive play. Combine the format with Reno’s altitude — which allows the ball to travel farther — and fans can expect to see plenty of birdies.

Unlike traditional scoring methods, where the aim is to have the lowest score, the objective in a Modified Stableford tournament is to have the highest score.

Modified Stableford awards points based on the number of strokes taken at each hole. Scoring at the 2021 Barracuda Championship will look like this:

  • Double Eagle: +8
  • Eagle: +5
  • Birdie: +2
  • Par: 0
  • Bogey: -1
  • Double Bogey+: -3

History: Barracuda Championship

Barracuda Championship
A general view of the 18th hole during the third round of the 2015 Barracuda Championship at the Montreux Golf and CC in Reno, Nevada. Credit: Marianna Massey/Getty Images

The Barracuda Championship was founded in 1999 as an alternate event and is played annually in August. Previously hosted by Montreux Golf and Country Club outside Reno, Nevada, the tournament moved to Tahoe Mountain Club’s Old Greenwood course, located in nearby Truckee, California, in 2020.

For its first three years, it had a full field of 156 players, while the World Golf Championship event had a field of about 40.

When the WGC event expanded to about 80 players in 2002, the field for the Reno–Tahoe Open was reduced to 132 players. With the launch of the FedEx Cup in 2007, the tournament and the WGC event were moved from late to early August.

Collin Morikawa
Collin Morikawa poses with the trophy after winning the Barracuda Championship at Montreux Country Club on July 28, 2019 in Reno, Nevada. Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The purse in 2020 was $3.5 million, with a winner’s share of $630,000. The Reno–Tahoe Open gained its first title sponsor for the 2008 event, the Legends at Sparks Marina. After two years the name was returned to “Reno–Tahoe Open” in 2010. Barracuda Networks became the title sponsor in 2014.

The Reno–Tahoe Open is an alternate event, which means the winner does not earn a Masters Tournament invitation. The winner still earns 24 OWGR points, 300 FedEx Cup points, a two-year tour exemption, and entry to the PGA Championship.

Recent major winners Gary Woodland (2013) and Collin Morikawa (2019) are the most prominent past Barracuda champions.

The Host Course: Old Greenwood

A look at the Jack Nicklaus designed Old Greenwood will host the Barracuda Championship for the next four years. (Credit: Old Greenwood)

The Montreux Golf & Country Club had been the host course since the tournament’s inception but the venue was moved to another Jack Nicklaus masterpiece for the 2020 edition.

This year’s Barracuda Championship will tee off at Tahoe Mountain Club’s Old Greenwood in Truckee, CA. Situated on 600 stunning acres of forest and meadowland, surrounded by the Sierra Nevada Mountains, this Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course is the perfect setting for the always-exciting Barracuda Championship.

More than most courses, Old Greenwood’s 18-hole course is influenced by the land upon which it sits. With rolling green grass, lush trees and beautiful water features, the course is truly breathtaking.

In addition to the stunning views, it’s also quite challenging to play. Be sure to catch all the beauty and excitement of the televised-only PGA Tour event.

The Barracuda Field

Branden Grace Wins Puerto Rico Open
Branden Grace celebrates after making a birdie on the 18th hole to win the Puerto Rico Open at Grand Reserve CC on Feb 28, 2021 in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

The field in northern California is comprised of players who did not qualify for the WGC-FedEx St Jude Invitational. This generally means they are 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 2019 champion was Collin Morikawa, who is now one of the game’s brightest stars with two major wins. The current world No. 4 is one of the favorites in Memphis.

The bookmakers favorites include familiar names in decent form such as Branden Grace, Emiliano Grillo, Maverick McNealy, Ryan MooreAaron WisePatrick Rodgers, Brandt Snedeker, Gary Woodland, and defending champion Richy Werenski.

Proven PGA Tour winners such as Grillo, Grace, Wise, and Woodland are all considered serious threats to win this week.

Marquee names from the past include former stars such as John Daly and Bill Haas, among others.

The betting favorites are Grace (16-1), Grillo (18-1), McNealy (18-1) and Mito Pereira (18-1).

Full Field & Odds

Barracuda Championship | Tahoe Mt. Club (Old Greenwood), Truckee, CA | Aug 5-8, 2021

Joel Cook contributed to this preview.


Please enter your name here