When tournament organizers of the Reno-Tahoe Open elected to used the Modified Stableford scoring system in 2012, a likely assumption is that eagles and birdies would have nowhere to hide. After all, when there's greater incentive to go low -- it takes two bogeys to negate one birdie, for example -- touring professionals would seem poised to unleash reckless abandon. Except the numbers don't support the theory.
Now, most stats (e.g. driving distance, fairways hit, greens in regulation, strokes gained-putting, scrambling) are not maintained when Modified Stableford scoring is in play, so there are no figures from 2012 to reference. What we know is that 38 eagles and 1,458 birdies were holed at panoramic Montreux Golf and Country Club last year, but neither (and there were no albatrosses) ranks atop the tournament's aggregate for a singular edition in its 14-year history.
There are any number of valid factors to which you can attribute the moderate continuation of par breakers. Golfers at this level know better than to fire at every flag stick regardless of format. There's also the matter of the timing of this tournament and its priority for guys on the bubble to qualify for the imminent FedExCup Playoffs.
Most of all, Montreux simply isn't a pushover. It's a modern Jack Nicklaus design (i.e. bomber's paradise), but this tournament is played a mile above sea level, so adjustments in yardages are necessary and critical upon approach. It can play 7,472 yards from the tips but possesses greens that average just 5,500 square feet.
The scoring system caters to all kinds, so look for diversity on the final leaderboard. It will include golfers that find a groove at a time when they need it most. The points structure for the Modified Stableford is as follows: albatross = 8 points; eagle = 5; birdie = 2; par = 0; bogey= (-1); double bogey or worse = (-3).
Aside from the omnipresent winds in Reno, zero issues are expected with the weather. Sunny and dry conditions will envelop the field of 132. Temperatures will climb into the high 80s.
|Power Rankings: Reno-Tahoe Open|