Stroud surges for first victory at Barracuda Championship
August 06, 2017
By Jim Krajewski, Special to PGATOUR.COM
Chris Stroud captures first PGA TOUR title at Barracuda
RENO, Nev. — News and notes from Sunday’s fourth round of the Barracuda Championship, where Chris Stroud captured his first PGA TOUR victory Sunday with a win in a two-hole playoff over Richy Werenski.
STROUD SURGES FOR FIRST WIN
Chris Stroud exploded for 20 points in the final round of the Barracuda Championship and walked away with his first victory on the PGA TOUR.
Stroud was at No. 144 in the FedExCup standings going into the Barracuda. He picked up 300 points with his win Sunday and jumped all the way to No. 76 in the standings.
Stroud went back to an old club he had used before, a counter-balanced, long putter.
“It just really helps me release the putter,” he said. “And when it does that, it keeps me very still. And the trouble I have with putting, with a shorter putter, is I lean the shaft a little bit. So I end up pushing a lot of putts.
“So it’s nice to have, but at the end of the day, I played beautifully. I had some really nice little bounces that I hadn’t been getting in the last few weeks and capitalized on them, made some good birdies.”
Stroud, 35, from Houston, Texas, said he loves the Modified Stableford format, which rewards risk-taking and aggressive play. It was his first win in 290 PGA TOUR events.
Stroud turned pro in 2004. He played on mini-tours until earning his PGA TOUR card at the 2006, 2007 and 2008 Qualifying schools.
His best performance in a PGA TOUR event during these early years was a tie for fifth at the 2007 Zurich Classic of New Orleans.
In 2010, Stroud finished T10 at THE PLAYERS Championship, and he lost in a sudden-death playoff to Ken Duke on the second extra hole of the 2013 Travelers Championship.
Stroud had never made the cut in Reno in three previous trips (2007, 2009 and 2016). Despite his history at Montreux, Stroud credited his caddie for helping him stay so calm on Sunday.
“He kept me distracted,” he said. “If I hit a shot and I started talking about it, he’d say, ‘hey, let’s talk about something else.’ He never let me talk about golf. He was crazy. I was so calm.”
Stroud also said his father was able to help him with his confidence going into Sunday’s final round and that his father knew he would excel in the unique format.
“My dad sent me a text last night, he goes, ‘Hey, I don’t want to get in your way,’ he said, ‘But this is a good format for you. You’ve been making a lot of birdies. Just go out and make as many as you can, see if you can make a couple of eagles,’” Stroud said. “And sure enough I made two eagles on the weekend.”
Despite it being his first win on TOUR, Stroud said he doesn’t have a celebration planned and his focus is now looking ahead to the PGA Championship.
“I got my two baby girls — I was planning on going home because I wasn't in the PGA Championship, going home to Houston and hanging with them for a week. But now I get to play Quail Hollow, which is an awesome, great golf course,” Stroud said.
“My phone is dead from all the text messages coming in. That's a good problem. I've gotta go charge that. Call my wife. I know she's freaking out at home.”
Chris Stroud interview after winning Barracuda
APPLEBY SURPRISES HIMSELF
Stuart Appleby capped off a remarkable week with a tie for fourth at the Barracuda Championship.
He had five birdies and one bogey in his round Sunday.
Appleby said he enjoyed the change from stroke play events.
“It’s a dynamic format. You never quite know where you are, quite as simple one shot can go either way,” Appleby said. “It’s interesting because you can come from behind or you can build a big lead.”
Appleby said he has had a tough year and he still can’t wrap his head around how well he played this week. He said he hopes to build off his experience at Montreux.
“I really even barely have my body going well to play for four days,” he said. “Hopefully this is something to run me in, for the next few, where I feel like I’m hitting and putting good. I just have to understand that I have a lot of experience in these situations and I need to use it. Good experience versus so much of the stuff I’ve had recently and go on.”
TRENDING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION
Richy Werenski, in his first year on the PGA TOUR, fell short in the playoff Sunday but said he can learn from the disappointment.
“I haven’t experienced it before. I think it’s going to help me learn for the next time I’m in a playoff. I can just build off of this,” Werenski said.
He said he was not flustered by the playoff atmosphere, as fans crowded around the 18th green.
“I’ll learn from this experience and take it to the next time I’m here. The week was really good, solid, felt like I really could have played a lot better. I think everybody always says that. But I know I definitely don’t have my best stuff. My game is trending in the right direction.”
Barracuda Bonus highlights of hole No. 18 from Round 4
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