Joel Dahmen produced a bogey-free round of 63 which included 16 points to secure the opening-day lead at the Barracuda Championship, the PGA Tour’s only points-based event.
The Washington state native reached 16 points with eight birdies, highlighted by three in a row on Nos. 4-6, to set the day’s high mark at the Tahoe Mountain Club’s Old Greenwood course.
“It was the best I could have done today probably. I made every putt,” said Dahmen, who won his maiden PGA Tour event earlier this year at Corales.
“Yeah, it’s tough at altitude sometimes. You don’t really know what you’re doing out here. It’s all guess. With the wind blowing the way it was, I didn’t have a number in mind or anything, but I hit some bad shots that turned out great, hit some good shots that turned out good, and my ball just found the hole today.”
Two off the pace was Stephan Jaeger, who reached 14 points with three birdies and two eagles, including a 2 on the reachable par-4 8th hole.
“Yeah, obviously in this format eagles really catapult you forward, five points,” said Jaeger, who hit 12 of 14 fairways.
“One was a three-footer on 8. I hit it on the green and it was pretty short. The other one was on — I think it was 11, the par-5 on the back. I made like a 25-footer.
“Obviously those two kind of get your day started and get you moving up the leaderboard. But overall I played good all day. Made a bunch of birdies and only made two bogeys, which don’t really hurt too bad in this format for sure.”
Scott Harrington was next at +13 which included five birdies and an eagle on the par-4 8th hole.
“Yeah, it was really good. I was pleased with it. I played really solid,” said Harrington.
“A couple silly bogeys, but it’s all about making birdies out here, and I was able to throw an eagle in there, which really helps in this format.
“Yeah, I just tried to play aggressive. I drove the ball really well, so it put me in positions where I could kind of go at a lot of flags. Tried to be aggressive on the greens. Had a three-putt and a four-putt unfortunately, but I played really nice tee to green, and yeah, it was tough out there.
“It’s windy and it’s kind of coming off of everywhere, so I’m really pleased to get in with a good day today.”
Emiliano Grillo and Michael Thompson rounded out the top-5 leaders at +12.
Grillo offset three bogeys with an eagle and five birdies, including back to back on 17 and 18 to jump into the chase.
“I love the course. Played it last year,” said Grillo. “I enjoyed it a little bit more than the other one — was a little bit easier; this is a little bit trickier.
“You have to hit good drivers. If you hit them left-right it’s kind of hard to get away with it and the greens are fast.
“The greens are real nice. And so today I was able to make some putts. I was able to close out with a couple birdies.
“My dinner is going to be enjoyable.”
Thompson, meanwhile, got off to a terrific start, draining six birdies on his first nine holes to turn on +12. But a final nine of two bogeys and one birdie saw him finish with the same +12 score.
“I started off, I was hitting the ball really well, made a small adjustment to my putting-stroke setup last week. And it paid off today,” said Thompson.
“So I played really solid. I had three tap-ins for birdie on the front nine.
“And I actually played really well on the back, just couldn’t get anything going. This wind is making it difficult out there.”
Pos-Player-To Par (Rd 1)
1. Joel Dahmen +16 (+16)
2. Stephan Jaeger +14 (+14)
3. Scott Harrington +13 (+13)
4. Emiliano Grillo +12 (+12)
4. Michael Thompson +12 (+12)
6. Roger Sloan +11 (+11)
7. Eight Players +10 (+10)
Pos-Player-To Par (Rd 1)
15. Maverick McNealy +9 (+9)
15. Chez Reavie +9 (+9)
21. Richy Werenski +8 (+8)
37. Pat Perez +6 (+6)
37. Branden Grace +6 (+6)
43. Troy Merritt +5 (+5)
56. Kyle Stanley +4 (+4)
56. Rafa Cabrera Bello +4 (+4)
56. Aaron Baddeley +4 (+4)
71. Padraig Harrington +3 (+3)
71. Camilo Villegas +3 (+3)
87. Gary Woodland +2 (+2)
98. Harold Varner III +1 (+1)
115. Aaron Wise -1 (-1)
115. Brandt Snedeker -1 (-1)
124. Brendan Steele -3 (-3)
124. Matt Kuchar -3 (-3)
124. Ryan Moore -3 (-3)
132. John Daly -9 (-9)