First Look: Barracuda Championship
July 25, 2014
By Jeff Shain, PGATOUR.COM
- Since the tournament’s inception, Americans have captured all 15 trophies. (Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
News and notes ahead of next week's barracuda Championship.
• COURSE: Montreux Golf & Country Club, 7,472 yards, par 72. Opened in 1997, the Jack Nicklaus design meanders among pine forest, seven lakes, four waterfalls and brilliant views of Mount Rose. The layout features a “Bear Trap” at Nos. 6-8, which includes a short par-3 over water and a 636-yard par-5 to the largest green on the course. A 2002 renovation introduced three new holes to the card, replacing Nos. 10-12. Montreux ranked sixth among the PGA TOUR’s toughest layouts in 2010.
• FEDEXCUP: Winner receives 300 points.
• CHARITY: More than 40 northern Nevada organizations receive money from the Reno-Tahoe Open Foundation, which has raised more than $2.5 million for charity since the tournament’s 1999 start. Among the recipients: The Children’s Cabinet, which was named the PGA TOUR’s Charity of the Year for 2013.
• FIELD WATCH: Jonathan Byrd and Andres Romero, runners-up to Gary Woodland’s record outing last year, head the lineup for the season’s only Modified Stableford event. … Padraig Harrington, winner of two British Opens and the 2008 PGA Championship, is among 14 major champions set to make the trip to Nevada’s highlands. The list also includes two-time U.S. Open winner Retief Goosen, John Daly and Davis Love III. … Alex Cejka, No.3 on the Web.com Tour’s money list, crosses over to make his fifth PGA TOUR start of 2014. … Former No.1 amateur Patrick Rodgers, whose seven college wins matched Tiger Woods’ total at Stanford, gets in on a sponsor exemption.
• 72-HOLE RECORD: +44, Gary Woodland (2013). Stroke-play record: 267, Vaughn Taylor (2005).
• 18-HOLE RECORD: +18, Jonathan Byrd (4th round, 2013). Stroke-play record: 61, Scott Piercy (3rd round, 2011).
• LAST YEAR: Woodland claimed his second PGA TOUR victory with three birdies in his final five holes, a flourish sparked when he holed out a 58-foot chip shot from the rough at No.14. The hot finish left Woodland with 44 points under the Modified Stableford scoring system, finishing nine points clear of Romero and fast-closing Byrd. An eagle and seven birdies helped Byrd set a single-day record with 18 points, although he ran out of steam with four consecutive pars to finish. Woodland’s victory ended a two-and-a-half year dry spell since winning in Tampa as a 2011 rookie. His best previous finish in 2013 had been a tie for 16th.
• STORYLINES: Romero, who has top-3 finishes in each of the event’ first two Modified Stableford editions, returns to Montreux in quest of that elusive first victory. The Argentine was third in 2012 before last year’s runner-up finish. … The Modified Stableford format awards points based on a player’s performance at each hole. Eagles earn five points, birdies are worth two and pars zero, with bogeys deducting a point and double bogeys losing three. … J.J. Henry, the 2012 champion, is among five former Reno-Tahoe winners seeking to join Vaughn Taylor as two-time champions. Taylor went back-to-back in 2004-05.
• SHORT CHIPS: Since the tournament’s inception, Americans have captured all 15 trophies. France’s Jean Van de Velde came closest to cracking the U.S. stranglehold, losing a playoff to Scott Verplank in 2000. … Woodland became the eighth 54-hole leader of the past nine at Reno-Tahoe to close out a win on Sunday. The lone exception was Scott McCarron, passed by Matt Bettencourt in 2010. … Brendan Steele is the only other player with top-10 finishes in both years of Modified Stableford play. Last year’s fourth-place finish followed a tie for eighth.
• TELEVISION: Thursday-Friday, 6:30-9 p.m. ET (Golf Channel). Saturday, 6:30-9:30 p.m. (GC). Sunday, 7-9:30 p.m. (GC).
• RADIO: None.