August 02, 2018
The Barracuda Championship is the only PGA TOUR event that uses the Modified Stableford scoring format, which encourages aggressive play. Combine the format with Reno's altitude -- which allows the ball to travel farther -- and fans can expect to see plenty of birdies.
Unlike traditional scoring methods, where the aim is to have the lowest score, the objective in a Modified Stableford tournament is to have the highest score.
Modified Stableford awards points based on the number of strokes taken at each hole. Scoring at the 2017 Barracuda Championship will look like this:
• Double Eagle: 8 points
• Eagle: 5 points
• Birdie: 2 points
• Par: 0 points
• Bogey: -1 point
• Double Bogey or more: -3 points
The strategy in Modified Stableford formats can, in most instances, be summed up in three words: "Go for it." This scoring format will reward risk-taking on the golf course.
For instance, if the professional is facing a carry over water that he normally wouldn’t try, the Modified Stableford format presents an incentive to go for it. A birdie is worth twice as many positive points (2) as a bogey is worth punitive points (-1). Eagles offer huge payoffs (5 points) and the worst a player could possibly do would be a double bogey (-3 points) at which point he could pick up his ball and carry on to the next hole.
Those golfers who make a few bogeys but also make a lot of birdies or eagles are more likely to be atop the leaderboards.