First Look: Barracuda Championship
July 31, 2015
By Jeff Shain, PGATOUR.COM Contributor
- July 31, 2015
- Defending champion Geoff Ogilvy will return to the Barracuda Championship. (Pennington/Getty Images)
• FULL FIELD: Barracuda Championship
• COURSE: Montreux G&CC, 7,472 yards, par 72. Surrounded by snow-capped mountains, the 1997 Jack Nicklaus design meanders among seven lakes and four waterfalls as it makes its way through the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas. 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 $3 million for charity since the tournament’s 1999 inception. Among the recipients: The Children’s Cabinet, which was named the PGA TOUR’s Charity of the Year for 2013.
• FIELD WATCH: Defending champion Geoff Ogilvy and two-time U.S. Open winner Retief Goosen head a lineup of eight former major champions for the year’s only Modified Stableford event. … With the game’s top players teeing it up at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, Tim Clark is the highest ranked entrant at No.77. … Patrick Rodgers, the former Stanford standout who earned Special Temporary status two months ago, makes his second visit to Montreaux. … Former No.1 amateur Ollie Schneiderjans is set for his third pro start in as many weeks after accepting a sponsor exemption.
• 72-HOLE RECORD: +49, Geoff Ogilvy (2014). Stroke-play record: 267, Vaughn Taylor (2005).
• 18-HOLE RECORD: +19, John Mallinger (3rd round, 2014). Stroke-play record: 61, Scott Piercy (3rd round, 2011).
• LAST YEAR: Talked by friends into keeping his spot in the field, Ogilvy made it pay off with a strong Sunday that ended a four-year victory drought. The Aussie had strongly considered a week off after a disappointing finish at the RBC Canadian Open, but moved into contention with 30 points in his first two days under the Modified Stableford scoring system. Ogilvy took a three-point lead into the final day, using a 25-foot eagle putt on No.13 to separate himself from his pursuers and adding a pair of birdies down the stretch. That left Ogilvy with 49 points, smashing Gary Woodland’s previous record of 44 one year earlier. Justin Hicks also finished strong with an 18-point day, but still finished five points back. It was Ogilvy’s eighth PGA TOUR win and first since 2010 at Kapalua.
• STORYLINES: Ogilvy now returns with a chance to join Vaughn Taylor (2004-05) as the only back-to-back winners at Reno-Tahoe. Seven other former champs can join Taylor as the only multiple winner. … Taylor, meantime, has a chance to make it three wins after sitting out last year’s edition. … 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. … Jonathan Byrd, who has top-3 finishes in each of the past two editions, returns in quest of that elusive victory. The South Carolina native tied for second in 2013 and shared third last year.
• SHORT CHIPS: Ogilvy’s triumph marked the first international winner since the tournament made its debut in 1999. The closest to come before that was France’s Jean Van de Velde, who lost a playoff to Scott Verplank in 2000. … Ogilvy also became the ninth 54-hole leader of the past 10 at Reno-Tahoe to close out a win on Sunday. The lone exception was Scott McCarron, passed by Matt Bettencourt in 2010. … Martin Laird has yet to finish outside the top six in three visits to Montreaux. Last year’s tie for sixth followed a runner-up finish in 2009 and T4 the year before, the latter two under stroke-play scoring.
• TELEVISION: Thursday, 6:30-9:30 p.m. ET (Golf Channel). Friday, 6:30-8:30 p.m. (GC). Saturday-Sunday, 6-9 p.m. (GC).
• RADIO: None.