The Barracuda Championship tees off Thursday at Montrêux Golf & Country Club in Reno, Nev. Billed as the “greatest lip-smacking, golf clapping, summer-loving event in the region,” the Modified Stableford scoring format and the Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course help set this PGA TOUR event apart from the others. It is the only event of its kind on the TOUR.
Tournament coverage is on Golf Channel Thursday and Friday from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. ET. Weekend coverage is from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Rather than counting the total number of strokes taken as in typical stroke play golf, a Modified Stableford format involves scoring points based on the number of strokes taken at each hole. Good play earns points and poor play takes away points. Unlike traditional scoring methods, where the aim is to have the lowest score, the objective in a Modified Stableford is to have the highest score. The number of points awarded on each hole is determined based on comparison of the number of strokes to par. Once a player has taken two strokes more than par, a double bogey, they may pick up their ball as it is then not possible to score any points on that hole and he cannot lose any additional points. He can then resume play on the next hole.
Both the format and the course will reward aggressive play this week. So will the purse—$3.3 million and 300 FedExCup points are at stake.
Montrêux is the third-longest course on the PGA TOUR and has also rated the sixth most-difficult course among all PGA TOUR events. Surrounded by spectacular snow-capped mountains, sky-high pine trees and beautiful fairways, Montrêux is a favorite stop on the TOUR. The layout meanders among seven lakes and four waterfalls and is the summer’s only Western venue for a PGA TOUR stop—with this year marking the 19th time the course has hosted the Barracuda Championship.
Shortly after the course debuted in 1997, Golf Digest named it to the prestigious top-three Best New Private Courses list. Two decades later, Golf Digest continues to recognize Montrêux among the top-10 courses in Nevada. The course has also recently received Best Residential Courses and Best for Club Life nods from Golfweek and Links Magazine respectively. Montrêux is 7,472 yards, but at over a mile above sea level (with nearly 500 feet of elevation change throughout the property), the Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course caters to all skill levels—the altitude allows the ball to travel farther and fans can expect to see plenty of birdies this week.
Defending champion Greg Chalmers and two-time winners J.J. Henry and Vaughn Taylor head this week’s field. Last year, Chalmers finally achieved that elusive first PGA TOUR victory, sealing it in style when he eagled the final hole for a six-point triumph over Gary Woodland. The 42-year-old Aussie carded five bogeys on the final day, but made up for it with his play at No.18. Needing only par to win, Chalmers easily reached the green in two and drained his 8-foot eagle putt to finish off a four-point day and leave him with 43 for the week. Woodland, the 2013 champion playing one group ahead, had been tied until finding a greenside bunker at No.18 and three-putting for bogey.
In total, Nicklaus Design has more than 410 golf courses open for play in 39 U.S. states and 44 countries. No fewer than 146 Nicklaus Design courses have hosted more than 900 professional tournaments or significant amateur championships worldwide. In 2017 alone, Nicklaus Design courses will host a total of 17 sanctioned professional events.
A full field list is included below.
Rich Berberian Jr.
Miguel Angel Carballo
Brendon de Jonge
Davis Love III
Tyrone Van Aswegen