The 22nd 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: Bermuda (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.
Event: Barracuda Championship
Managed By: PGA Tour
Title Sponsor: Barracuda Networks
Dates: July 30 – Aug 2, 2020
Course: Tahoe Mt. Club (Old Greenwood)
Where: Truckee, CA
Vitals: 7,518 yards, par-72
Architect: Jack Nicklaus
Format: 132 players, Stableford, 72 holes/36 hole cut
Winning Share: $630,000
Points: 300 FedEx, 24 OWGR
2019 Winner: Collin Morikawa
Other Recent Winners: Andrew Putnam (2018), Chris Stroud (2017), Greg Chalmers (2016), J. J. Henry (2015), Geoff Ogilvy (2014), Gary Woodland (2013), J. J. Henry (2012), Scott Piercy (2011)
Marquee Players: Branden Grace, Ryan Moore, Alex Noren, Martin Kaymer, Si Woo Kim, Bud Cauley, Emiliano Grillo, Charley Hoffman, Pat Perez, Jhonattan Vegas, Richy Werenski, Sam Burns, Beau Hossler, Russell Knox, Aaron Baddeley, Cameron Davis, Hunter Mahan, Bill Haas, Nick Watney
TV & Online
The Host Course: Old Greenwood
The Montrêux 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 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. The current world No. 13 will not be on hand to defend his maiden title but instead is one of the favorites in Memphis.
The bookmakers favorites include familiar names in good form such as Russell Henley, Alex Noren, Brendan Steele, Ryan Moore, Sam Burns, Patrick Rodgers, and Richy Werenski.
Proven PGA Tour winners such as Emiliano Grillo, Branden Grace, Si Woo Kim, Aaron Wise, Martin Kaymer, Vaughn Taylor, Lanto Griffin, Charley Hoffman, and Pat Perez all are considered serious threats to win this week.
Marquee names from the past include former stars such as Hunter Mahan, Shaun Micheel, Bill Haas, and Dicky Pride.
The betting favorites are Henley (20-1), Noren (22-1), Steele (22-1), and Moore (22-1).
10. Pat Perez
Fan favorite has fallen off the radar somewhat since his breakthrough season in 2017. Cashed a check in four of five starts since reboot with T23 last week in Minnesota his best showing. His gambling attitude and strong iron game should be of benefit this week in a points-style scoring system.
World Rank: 149
Field Rank: 17
Since Reboot: 23, 39, 45, MC, 49
9. Si Woo Kim
The two-time PGA Tour winner missed the cut in first two starts after the reset, but, since, has five straight made-cuts, including two top-20s.
World Rank: 128
Field Rank: 11
Since Reboot: 46, 18, 64, 57, 11, MC, MC
8. Alex Noren
The Swede enters off a T3 at TPC Twin Cities. Ranked in the world top-20 for three years (2016-2018) but at No. 115 now needs a win to qualify for next week’s PGA Championship.
World Rank: 115
Field Rank: 9
Since Reboot: 3, MC, MC, 21, 60
7. Russell Henley
Since reboot, the 31-year old has made four starts with two missed-cuts alongside a T7 and T32. Despite a hot and cold game, Henley’s iron game is always on (ranks 6th on Tour in Greens Hit).
World Rank: 174
Field Rank: 25
Since Reboot: MC, 7, 32, MC
6. Emiliano Grillo
Argentinian has struggled since returning from covid break (4 missed-cuts) but posted a T3 last week in Minnesota. Ranks 5th in Greens in Regulation among PGA Tour.
World Rank: 137
Field Rank: 14
Since Reboot: 3, MC, MC, 39, 60, MC, MC
5. Richy Werenski
The Massachusetts native has played well since returning from layoff. Has made the cut in each of his four starts, including a T3 in Minnesota. Posted a T2 in this format back in 2017.
World Rank: 210
Field Rank: 38
Since Reboot: 3, 35, 21, 46, 58
4. Matthias Schwab
At world No. 93, Schwab is one of only five players in the field ranked inside the top 100. The 25-year old Austrian enjoyed a breakout season in 2019 on the European Tour. The Vanderbilt product is in search of his first professional win.
World Rank: 93
Field Rank: 4
Since Reboot: 32, MC
3. Patrick Rodgers
This will be the eight straight start for the Stanford product. Owns two top-20s (T18 Memorial, T14 Schwab) since the restart. Top-20 ranked on Tour off the tee and top-15 with the putter (sg:putting).
World Rank: 182
Field Rank: 28
Since Reboot: 32, 18, MC, 45, MC, MC, 14
2. Ryan Moore
After three straight missed-cuts, the Vegas native has posted a T40 (Memorial) and T12 (3M Open). Ranks 12th on the PGA Tour in fairways-hit and in the top-40 in strokes-gained: tee to green.
World Rank: 113
Field Rank: 8
Since Reboot: 12, 40, MC, MC, MC
1. Brendan Steele
Ranked No. 103 in the world, but owns two top-20s since return, highlighted by a T6 at the Travelers. Prior to shutdown had posted two impressive top-5s to move into top 150 (from 366th). Always seems to play well in this format.
World Rank: 102
Field Rank: 6
Since Reboot: 13, 52, 6, MC
Full Field & Odds
Barracuda Championship | Tahoe Mt. Club (Old Greenwood), Truckee, CA | July 30 – Aug 2, 2020
Photo Credits: Getty Images